Newly re-elected Taiwan president already under pressure to begin reunificiation talks

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By Willy Lam,

After Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou was re-elected to a second four-year term last weekend, he faces intensifying pressure from Beijing to start “reunification talks.”

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou declares victory in the presidential election on Jan. 14. AP/Vincent Yu

Immediately after defeating Tsai Ing-wen, the moderate leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Ma told the media that he was in no hurry to begin political negotiations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration.

“We always follow the principles of easy [subjects] first, difficult ones later; and economics first, politics later,” said Ma, who is also chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) or Nationalist Party.

Unlike previous presidential elections in Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a “breakaway province,” Beijing had kept the lowest of profiles. For example, Chinese officials steered clear of attacking the DPP, one of whose objectives is to seek some form of Taiwanese independence.

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