President Ma Ying-jeou was elected to a second four-year term as Taiwan’s president, giving him a renewed mandate to press for closer ties with China that have eased decades-old tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Ma, the 61-year-old leader of the ruling Kuomintang Party, defeated challenger Tsai Ing-wen, the Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman, by 51.6 percent to 45.6 percent, with all the votes tallied, the Central Election Commission reported on its website. The commission said 74.4 percent of Taiwan’s 18 million eligible voters cast ballots.
“This isn’t a personal victory, this is a victory for the Taiwan people,” Ma said at a rain-soaked victory rally in Taipei late yesterday. “The people have approved our efforts to shelve disputes and strive for peace across the Taiwan Strait.”
Ma’s victory is an affirmation of his effort to improve Taiwan’s relationship with China after decades of strained ties under his DPP predecessor and previous Kuomintang governments. A stable cross-strait relationship may also benefit U.S.-China ties as Washington seeks help from the leadership in Beijing to contain the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.
“Cross-Strait peace, stability and improved relations, in an environment free from intimidation, are of profound importance to the United States,” the White House said in a statement congratulating Ma on his victory.
Full Article: Ma Wins Second Term in Taiwan Election – Bloomberg.