Jan. 16 - Taiwanese voters give President Ma Ying-jeou a renewed mandate to press ahead with economic ties and other links to China. Lisa Yuriko Thomas reports.
Victory for cross-strait ties. President Ma Ying-jeou, re-elected with over 50 percent of the vote, has a fresh mandate to press for more economic opening with China. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) TAIWAN PRESIDENT, MA YING-JEOU, SAYING: "In the next four years, cross-strait relations will be more peaceful, with greater mutual trust, and the chance of conflict will be less." Ma's policies in the past four years have helped boost trade with China to 145 billion U.S. dollars. He also cushioned Taiwan's export-driven economy from a global downturn. Taiwanese investment in the mainland has also boomed. Apple supplier Foxconn has 1 million workers based in China. It's not just China basking in the victory. The U.S. is also relieved, says Enzio von Pfeil, CEO of Commercial Economics Asia. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEO OF COMMERCIAL ECONOMICS ASIA, ENZIO VON PFEIL, SAYING: "It's breathing a sigh of relief because it has one less political headache to have to think of, namely the China-Taiwan tensions." Ma's honeymoon will be brief. With Europe battling credit rating downgrades and doubts growing over a sustained U.S. recovery, Taiwanese will keep economic issues front and centre. Some economists say Ma will target Europe given the region's depressed markets. Lisa Yuriko Thomas, Reuters.