China urges Taiwan to keep ties after pro-Beijing party losses

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TAIPEI, Taiwan — China urged Taiwan to protect the gains of landmark cooperation between the mainland and the self-ruled island after Taiwan’s pro-Beijing ruling party was routed in local elections.

The defeat in Saturday’s elections of the Nationalist Party, which lost nine cities and counties, including its longtime strongholds Taipei, the capital, and the major central city of Taichung, led to the resignation of Premier Jiang Yi-huah, who heads the Cabinet. President Ma Ying-jeou promised to make changes.

The election losses could jeopardize six years of talks with China that have led to 21 agreements, helping to lift Taiwan’s half-trillion-dollar economy, while raising Beijing’s hopes for political reunification. Beijing has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s, but since taking office in 2008, Ma has set aside the old disputes to ease tensions through talks. Read more…

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