Taiwan’s Opposition Presidential Candidate Visits US

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 2:37 am (UTC-5)
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Taiwan's opposition presidential candidate traveled to the United States Monday promising closer ties with Washington if her party wins next year's presidential election.

Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of Taiwan's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, told reporters before departing Sunday that she would discuss a wide range of issues with U.S. officials during her nine-day visit, including setting up closer bilateral ties and opening new channels of communications.

If Tsai wins the January election, the 51-year-old would become Taiwan's first female president. Her party ruled Taiwan from 2000 to 2008.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the end of the civil war in 1949, but Beijing still regards the island as a rogue province and has vowed to annex it, by force, if necessary.

Tsai's visit is likely to anger Beijing, which regards any official contact with Taiwan government officials and politicians as meddling in China's internal affairs.