Ma Ying-jeou will be elected president of Taiwan on March 22, 2008 Tensions will then ease further. Look for 2011-2012 (start of talks) or 2013-2016 (second term possible completion): talks on peace treaties and unification between Taiwan and China. Those who are Still predicting war between the US and China over Taiwan are behind the curve I would expect it to be an European Union style loose and gradual unification.
Ma has indicated that unification can only happen with a democratic China, so the prize of unification with Taiwan could be a motivation towards more democracy in China (that way the KMT-Taiwan leader could have a shot at ruling all of a unified Taiwan-China)
Yang said progress on direct air and sea links was possible by the spring of 2009, but that any breakthrough on political relations — including a framework for a peace treaty — was unlikely until the second half of Ma’s four-year term. George Tsai of Taipei’s Chinese Culture University said the pace of a Taiwan-China rapprochement would depend on China’s attitude toward Ma, possible Democratic Progressive Party efforts to derail progress, and Ma’s calculations about a re-election bid in 2012.
[I believe that the recent redistricting in Taiwan has structurally ensured KMT victories. Much the way districting in the USA ensures that 98% of incumbent congressmen and senators get re-elected.]
Recent polls published by the government’s Mainland Affairs Council indicate about 14 percent of respondents favor unification with Beijing — either now or in the future — while about twice that number support independence.
But most Taiwanese also want greater economic engagement with China.
They believe that Chen’s policies to restrict investment and prohibit direct air and maritime links were major factors in the island’s relatively anemic annual growth during his nearly eight years in office.
That stands at 3.8 percent, against 6.5 percent in the early and mid-1990s when the Nationalists held the presidency.
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