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Taiwan President Mulls Peace Treaty With China


Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou discusses his campaign platform for the upcoming presidential elections regarding cross-strait relations during a press conference at the Presidential Office Taipei, Taiwan, October 17, 2011.

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou discusses his campaign platform for the upcoming presidential elections regarding cross-strait relations during a press conference at the Presidential Office Taipei, Taiwan, October 17, 2011.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou says he would like to sign a peace treaty with China in the coming decade, if the people of the island agree.

Ma's comments came on Monday in Taipei, with recent opinion polls showing him leading his chief rival, opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen, in the race for the presidency. Elections are scheduled for mid-January.

Ma's current term has been marked by efforts to improve relations with Beijing, including backing for a host of trade and investment deals.

Monday, he said any peace pact with China would require, in his words, "a high level of support from Taiwan's public."

China considers Taiwan a renegade province, despite the island's self-rule since the end of the civil war in 1949. Chinese nationalists fled to the island that year and have since threatened repeatedly to declare independence. Beijing has countered with threats to use of military force to prevent any such declaration.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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