China expresses hopes to keep warm ties after KMT setback in Taiwan

11/29/2014 10:43 PM
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Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) China refrained from commenting directly on Taiwan's local government elections Saturday, saying only it hopes the peoples on both sides of the Taiwan Strait will continue to work for peaceful development in bilateral relations.

"We have taken note of the election results. It is hoped that compatriots on both sides of the strait will cherish the hard-earned fruits of cross-strait relations and work together to safeguard and continue to push forward the peaceful development of cross-strait relations," said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman of China's Taiwan Affairs Office.

The statement came after Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) suffered heavy losses in the elections held earlier in the day. It lost in five of the six municipalities and managed to win only five of the 16 other cities and counties.

In the last elections in 2010, the KMT took three municipalities and 12 of the other cities and counties.

Since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May 2008, Taiwan has had closer relations with China than during the previous eight years under the rule of President Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party government.

However, the KMT's perceived cozy relationship with China under Ma has drawn criticism in Taiwan and a bilateral trade in services agreement signed in June 2013 remained stalled in Taiwan's legislature.

(By Hui-ying Chou and Jay Chen; click here for a list of results of this year's local elections)


Related stories:●Nov. 29: KMT crushed in local elections; Cabinet to be reshuffled●Nov. 29: DPP chair thanks voters after party takes 13 cities, counties

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