Special to WorldTribune.com
The ostensible motive for the historic handshake last Saturday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan counterpart Ma Ying-jeou is to anchor cross-Strait relations on the “one China” principle.
Yet there are more urgent – and politically significant – considerations as well.
Presidential elections are coming up in Taiwan in January. The candidate fielded by Ma’s Kuomintang (KMT) or Nationalist Party, Eric Chu, is lagging behind his rival from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Tsai Ing-wen by a margin of more than 20 percentage points in most opinion polls.
Both Xi and Ma hope that the optimistic vibes generated by the first meeting of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the KMT in 66 years will persuade undecided voters in Taiwan to fall for the ruling party.
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