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  1. Taiwan Main Page
  2. Breaking from Mainland Influence
  3. New President Brings New Beginning
  4. Heightened Tensions
  5. Independence Rejected
  6. Political Leaders Stumble, Fall
  7. Taiwan and China Benefit from Trade Agreement
  8. Fallout over Closer Ties to China and Poor Economy
  9. Taiwan Elects First Female President
Independence Rejected

In parliamentary elections in January 2008, the opposition Kuomintang soundly defeated Chen's Democratic Progressive Party, taking 81 out of 113 seats. President Chen resigned as head of the party. The result of vote was considered a rejection of Chen's policy of edging toward independence from China. Taiwan continued its move toward warmer relations with China in March, when Ma Ying-jeou, of Kuomintang, prevailed over Frank Hsieh, of the Democratic Progressive Party, 58.4% to 41.6%, in presidential elections. Ma's victory ended eight years of Democratic Progressive Party rule. Ma said he planned to pursue closer ties with China and spur Taiwan's economic growth. Ma, however, does not favor political reunification with China.

Ma reinforced his desire to pursue closer ties to mainland China in June when he outlined his economic plan. He called for access to China’s financial markets for Taiwanese businesses, regular passenger flights and cargo passage across the Taiwan Strait, among other proposals. He insisted, however, that China remove the short- and medium-range missiles facing Taiwan before he will engage in peace talks with China. Ma realized several of his goals in November, Chen Yunlin, the head of the Chinese organization that negotiates with Taiwan, visited the island, becoming the most senior mainland official to do so since 1949. He met President Ma and signed several pacts that will lead to a signficant increase in transportion and shipments of food between the two sides.

Next: Political Leaders Stumble, Fall
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