Archive for the ‘Frank Hsieh’ Category

Tibet unrest colors Taiwan elections

March 22, 2008
By PETER ENAV, Associated Press Writer 

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Voters were deciding Saturday whether to stick with a party that has struggled to improve ties with rival China or switch to one promising peace with the island’s giant neighbor.

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate ...
Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou shakes hands with supporters as he parades through neighborhoods of Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, March 21, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential candidates Ma and ruling party Democratic Progressive Party’s Frank Hsieh are canvassing the island one day before Taiwan will hold its fourth directly-elected presidential poll on Saturday, March 22, 2008.(AP Photo/Wally Santana)

Just two weeks ago, opposition candidate Ma Ying-jeou seemed ready to cruise to victory, promising to improve relations with China and even work toward a common market with the Communist country.

But ruling party candidate Frank Hsieh appears to have been closing the gap. His party used the last day of campaigning to fan outrage over China’s crackdown in Tibet.

Hsieh warns that China’s crackdown in Tibet could be replicated in Taiwan, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949. Beijing still considers the island to be part of its territory and has threatened to attack if Taiwan rejects unification and seeks a permanent break.

“If Ma is elected, Taiwan’s future will be in danger,” Hsieh told a cheering crowd at a rally Friday in the southern city of Chiayi. “It will be the same for China to attack Tibet or Taiwan because it will be China’s domestic issue.”

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j5eFXqW2dKrJE.6BnapWs0NUE

No dramatic thaw with China likely after Taiwan poll

March 16, 2008
By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) – Both Taiwan presidential candidates promise better ties with China, but whoever wins, chances of a dramatic or quick thaw in ties are unlikely as sensitive political problems will be tricky to tackle.

Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential ...
Taiwan’s main opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou speaks to supporters in front of a Taiwan flag during a campaign rally in Tainan March 16, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on March 22.REUTERS/Nicky Loh (TAIWAN)

Nationalist candidate Ma Ying-jeou, the election front-runner, is seen as being more sympathetic to China, and many believe a President Ma would move fast to boost economic, trade and possibly political ties with Beijing.

Victory for his rival from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Frank Hsieh, could make a rapprochement harder, despite Hsieh promising a much more relaxed China policy than President Chen Shui-bian.

In a fresh example of their different approaches, both candidates criticized the recent violence in Tibet on Saturday, but only Hsieh tied it to Taiwan’s situation.
Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ... 
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh raises his hands with supporters during an election campaign in Tainan March 15, 2008. Hsieh condemned the violence in Tibet by the Chinese government on Saturday during a news conference. Taiwan’s presidential elections will be held on March 22.REUTERS/Pichi Chuang (TAIWAN)

“As we look at Tibet, we must think about our own fate,” said Hsieh.

Steve Tsang, Director of the Taiwan Studies Programme at Oxford University, said: “I think in the medium to long term you would see significant improvements in the relationship (if Ma wins), at least by way of easing of tensions.”

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taiwan_election_negotiations_dc_1

Taiwan’s Independence Movement Likely to Wane

March 12, 2008

By Edward Wong
The New York Times
March 12, 2008
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TAIPEI, Taiwan — No matter who wins Taiwan’s fiercely contested presidential election on March 22, the fervent independence movement that has so agitated relations with mainland China in recent years seems destined to suffer a significant setback.

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ...
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (C) speaks during a night rally in Hualien March 11, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on March 22.
REUTERS/Nicky Loh (TAIWAN)

Both candidates, Ma Ying-jeou and Frank Hsieh, want closer ties with Beijing, differing only in how quickly and to what degree they would strengthen relations. By calling for closer economic cooperation with China and rejecting any notions of separatism, they are repudiating the tough nationalist policies of the departing president, Chen Shui-bian, whose confrontational stance has angered officials in Beijing and Washington and has stirred anxiety among many Taiwanese.

“Both sides will try to seek common ground and seek engagement across the straits,” said Philip Yang, a political scientist at National Taiwan University who has advised the Ma campaign. “If Ma is elected, the pace will be faster, and with bigger expectations.”

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/world/asia/
12taiwan.html

Taiwan: Pro-China Candidate Takes the Lead

March 10, 2008

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Nationalist Party (KMT) holds a big lead over rival Frank Hsieh, who favours a harder line toward China.

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate ...
Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou gestures during an election campaign in Kaohsiung March 8, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on March 22.(Pichi Chuang/Reuters)

Taiwan, recognized by just 23 countries and viewed by China as a breakaway province that must be brought back to the fold, votes for a new president on March 22.

Ma, a former Taipei mayor who has pledged to relax Taiwan-China investment rules to jumpstart the local economy if elected, has 49 to 54 percent of voter support, according to three media polls, one each in the Chinese-language China Times and United Daily and one by local TV news station TVBS.

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ...
 Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh gestures while talking with social activists and scholars during a symposium at his campaign headquarters in Taipei March 10, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on March 22. The three characters read, “Hsieh Chang-ting,” which is Hsieh’s name in Chinese.REUTERS/Pichi Chuang (TAIWAN)

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Taiwan vote could offer new start for frayed U.S. ties

March 7, 2008
By Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Taiwan voters elect a successor to President Chen Shui-bian later this month, their self-ruled island will get a fresh start in vital ties with the United States that have deteriorated on Chen’s watch.

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ...
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (L) holds up his pledge during a meeting with aborigines in Taipei March 7, 2008.
(Nicky Loh/Reuters)

What the March 22 vote will not change, however, is a complex tangle which has seen China boosting its military readiness to enforce its claim of sovereignty over Taiwan, even as the United States seeks closer ties with Beijing despite commitment under its own laws to help defend the island.

“There is a problem with cross-strait relations: it’s much less stable than one would think,” said Dan Blumenthal, a former Pentagon official and China expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think-tank.

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