Taiwan’s Nationalist Party scored a dramatic victory in the presidential election on Saturday and promised to expand economic ties with China while proecting the island from being swallowed up politically and become another Tibet which results in complete control by Beijing. Ma Ying-jeou told cheering crowds he will work for a less confrontational relationship with China and move away from the current government position the island should formally declare its independence and seek entry into the United Nations. The Chinese government insists Taiwan must recognize its historic relationship with China and avoid any action such as seeking to become independent.
Ma is particularly interested in expanding Chna-Taiwan high tech connections which every year sends billions of dollars’ worth of Taiwan’s advanced comoonents to low-cost assembly plants on Chna’s rapidly developing east coast. “We need to engage the mainland to improve our economy” was a typical view of many Taiwan businessmen.
The ironic aspect of the vote is that the Nationalist party is descended from those who fled China after being defeated in 1948. The cycle of life has turned and now Nationalists seek to reopen good relations with those who drove them from the mainland.