BEIJING (Reuters) – Bothpresidential candidates promise better ties with , but whoever wins, chances of a dramatic or quick thaw in ties are unlikely as sensitive political problems will be tricky to tackle.
Nationalist candidate, 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 .
Victory for his rival from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP),, could make a rapprochement harder, despite Hsieh promising a much more relaxed China policy than .
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 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, 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.”