Ma wins in Taiwan
Article added on January 14, 2012 at 21:08 Swiss time
According to the Central Election Commission,
with all the votes tallied, the
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (*1950) of the ruling Kuomintang Party (KMT) has
won a second mandate with 51.6%. Tsai Ing-wen of the oppositional Democratic
Progressive Party (DDP) finished second with 45.6%.
President Ma Ying-jeou had pledged to improve relations with Communist
mainland China, which views Taiwan as a renegade province.
For once, Communist China was cautious ahead of the Taiwanese presidential
election. China did not try to interfere in the electoral process by holding
intimidating maneuvers or by issuing menacing statements, which in some
cases ended up to be counterproductive. The prudent strategy paid off. The
China-friendly and incumbent Ma won.
The leading Taiwanese business executives were in favor of Ma's policy.
Especially the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China (ECFA) boosted investment on
the island and on the mainland as well as trade between the two countries.
The deal included tariff concessions on 539 Taiwanese and 267 Chinese
products. Both countries opened markets in a series of service sectors
including banking, securities, insurance and accounting.
For some time, the leader of Taiwan's third party, James Soong of the People
First Party (PFP), seemed to be able to become the kingmaker. But instead of
garnering some 10% of the vote, he ended up with a meager 2.8%.
Today's deals at Amazon.com
Special offers on new releases from Amazon.co.uk
Taiwan's situation is tricky. Relaxed relations with the mainland benefit
both China and Taiwan economically. But the stronger the mainland get's, the
weaker the island's position seems to be. Despite the “1992-Consensus”
between China and Taiwan regarding the One-China principle, Communist China still does not
rule out the use of force to “reunite” the mainland and the island.
Communist China insists on its One-China policy, which is different form the
One-China principle, because it means that countries establishing official
relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC aka Communist China) must
break relations with the Republic of China (ROC aka Taiwan).
De facto, Taiwan has been an independent country for decades. As long as
Taiwan has the backing of the United States, it will be able to maintain its
independence. The more dependent the US become from its creditor China, the
weaker the American security umbrella seems to be.
Chinese-Taiwanese relations were particularly strained during Chen Shui-Bian's (DDP) eight years in power.
Chen Shui-bian currently sits in jail on corruption charges. With Ma's electoral win in 2008,
China and Taiwan signed a series of agreements establishing direct air,
shipping and postal links for the first time since 1949, the year the
Communists managed to get the upper hand in China's civil war, which ended
with the KMT army retreating to the island of Taiwan. Check also our
Taiwan and our
2000-presidential election article.