TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has delighted Beijing and Washington with his efforts to pivot from confrontation to peacemaking with the authoritarian government in China, a rival in an unresolved Chinese civil war.
The question is: Will that be enough for the voters of Taiwan?
Ma faces an unexpectedly tough bid for re-election Saturday. His main challenger, Tsai Ing-wen, has run a smart and effective campaign, exploiting complaints by middle- and working-class Taiwanese that the economic benefits of Ma's China embrace have largely passed them by.
Opinion surveys published a week ago — the last permitted under Taiwanese law — showed Ma clinging to a narrow 3-4 point lead, despite Tsai's never having won an election for public office in Taiwan.