Taiwan Presidential Candidate Seeks Ally in Japan

Posted October 4th, 2011 at 5:00 am (UTC-5)
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Taiwan presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen says she would like to see Taiwan strengthen its economic ties with Japan so as not to become too dependent on China.

Ms. Tsai is running in January elections against Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, whose China-friendly policies have resulted in a series of lucrative trade deals between Taiwan and the mainland.

Ms. Tsai said during a visit to Tokyo Tuesday she would continue to seek peaceful relations with China, but she wants Taiwan to have other strong trading partners.

Ms. Tsai is the candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party, which angered China in the past by calling for an independent Taiwan. She said it is in Japan's interest to see Taiwan better integrated into regional trading structures.

Earlier on her visit, Ms. Tsai said that, if elected, she would seek to resolve a dispute over contested islands in the East China Sea peacefully and rationally. She said that unlike Taiwan's current president, she would not line up with China over the islands, known in China and Taiwan as Diaoyu and in Japan as Senkaku.

Taipei and Beijing both lay claim to the islands, which are effectively administered by Tokyo. Japan became involved in a nasty diplomatic dispute with the current Chinese government over the islands last year.