Taiwan president-elect wants China ties

March 23, 2008 at 8:08 PM
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TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 23 (UPI) -- President-elect Ma Ying-jeou said Sunday Taiwan can achieve a peace agreement with China by backing off independence claims.

"The idea is to shelve the issue," he told The Washington Post in an interview.

Ma won 58 percent of the vote in Saturday's election. He was the candidate of the Kuomintang, the Nationalist party of Chiang Kai-shek, and is the son of one of Chiang's followers.

Taiwan and China have increasingly close economic ties, while China continues to claim the island as a breakaway region. Ma said he hopes to get agreements to strengthen the relationship.

At a news conference, Ma said he recognizes that how much he is able to accomplish depends on "the other side's good will."

Both the ruling Chinese Communist Party and the KMT have a one-China ideology, although they disagree about who should govern that one China.

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