Taiwanese Choose President, Pace of Closer China Ties
Taiwan’s voters choose a new president today in an election that will set the pace of improving relations with China after eight years of confrontation under the pro-independence rule of Chen Shui-bian.
Both candidates — the opposition Kuomintang’s Ma Ying-jeou and the Democratic Progressive Party’s Frank Hsieh — advocate closer mainland ties, so the election pits Ma’s quicker approach against Hsieh’s more cautious tack.
China’s crackdown on pro-independence protests in Tibet may have affected the lead Ma had before a ban on publishing poll results took effect March 12. Hsieh has tried to portray Ma’s policies — such as a pledge to work toward a peace treaty with the mainland — as exposing Taiwan to similar treatment.