Beijing, Washington closely watch Taiwan poll

Taiwan`s presidential race has revolved around the domestic economy, but it`s an international issue that sets the candidates apart

Taipei: Taiwan`s presidential race has revolved around the domestic economy, but it`s an international issue that sets the candidates apart. Incumbent Ma ying-jeou wants Taiwan to move closer to China while contender Tsai Ing-wen refuses to accept China`s claim over the democratic island.

As the final month of campaigning began Thursday, their neck-and-neck race will be closely watched by Beijing and Washington.

Beijing sees Ma as its best hope of promoting its long-held policy of bringing Taiwan under its control.

The United States officially is neutral in the race. But it sees good cross-strait ties as a key to regional peace and economic development.

Opinion polls indicate the Jan. 14 election is virtually even.

Bureau Report

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