Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said Wednesday he will contest next month’s election for the chairmanship of the ruling Nationalist Party, a position that could give him greater control over the pace of reconciliation with rival China.
The incumbent Wu Poh-hsiung has bowed out of the race after heavy pressure from Ma loyalists. It is highly unlikely another candidate will take part. Party members select the new chairman in July.
Since taking office as president in May 2008, Mr. Ma has had to contend with the existence of a separate Nationalist Party channel for conducting negotiations with China’s ruling Communists, seeking to forge closer ties between the two sides, which split amid civil war in 1949.