Ma Ying-jeou Wins Second Term in Taiwan
Kuomintang’s candidate to the presidential elections in the Republic of China on Taiwan, incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou, was reelected on Saturday by 51 percent, a vote which is deemed as a new opportunity for Taiwan and mainland China to engage in talks that are expected to ease the tension between the two states that claim to be the legal representatives of the Chinese people.
The main opponent to Ma’s bid for reelection, Democratic Progressive Party’s Tsai Ing-wen resigned her commission of chairwoman of the party, and will execute the job until February, when new elections will be held within the party.
The campaign that preceded the vote was the first one in the history of the island in which the focus was on the increasing gap between the poor and the rich and on the life condition, rather than on the relations with China, which was the dominant topic in the other campaigns held in the country so far.
Tsai Ing-wen had a milder stance on independence than most of her DPP colleagues, promising that the agreements and contracts signed by president Ma with China would be upheld and that she will work with the neighbor country.
Ma Ying-jeou said in his campaign that he wanted to put aside the conflicts with China and “replace danger with business opportunities.” His reelection is seen by many as an approval by the people of his sound foreign policy, aimed at diffusing the conflict that has been hovering over the island since the 1940s, when Kuomintang lost the civil war to the Chinese Communist party and was forced to flee to Taiwan.
It is considered that the United States, which saluted the outcome of the elections, would be pleased with the fact that Beijing and Taipei are committed to talks rather than to trade war threats. This is said to allow America to focus on other goals it has in the region and in the world, such as the Korean Peninsula or the Middle East.
Still, if reunification talks were to be successful, the United States would see the power of China growing even faster and even bigger, and its stance in the region really threatened.
On the other hand, unification with China seems a very distant goal, which is probably not as far as the constituents of Ma Ying-jeou are ready to go, considering that the Kuomintang is a party whose doctrine is based on anti-Communism, which would make unification with China much more difficult.
More than that, China has its set of problems with keeping its integrity as it is, with a Tibetan autonomist movement becoming more and more aggressive, and a Turkmen movement against land seizures which forces the security forces to intervene to crackdown on people.
Besides, the analysts said that Ma Ying-jeou’s program was based on “three noes:” no independence, no unification, no use of force. Some believe that these three demands were easier to understand for the 15 million voters than the more complicated “Taiwan consensus” proposed by the contender.
Many people are expected the government to open the huge Chinese market to Taiwanese products, and to sign an investor protection guarantee agreement with China. The two countries are also on their way to reduce the tariffs on import trades.
The reelection is also deemed as part of the legalization of a dialogue that would create a framework for future negotiations about the both size of the same China.11