Taiwan's Ma signals no China change as term starts

May 20, 2012 - 1:16 AM
APTOPIX Taiwan President

Protesters throw eggs at a portrait of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on his inauguration day, denouncing his policies, Sunday, May 20, 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan. Despite Ma's re-election in January, the island is greatly divided on his political and economic policies. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's president has signaled that he will continue the China policy that helped him get re-elected as he begins his second four-year term.

Speaking at a low-key inaugural ceremony Sunday, Ma Ying-jeou hewed to the same formula for China relations he championed during his first term — "no unification, no independence and no use of force."

That policy has substantially reduced tensions between the sides, while offering Beijing little early hope of realizing its long term goal of unification.

Ma's comments Sunday are likely to disappoint hard-liners in Beijing, intent on bringing democratic Taiwan under their rule as soon as possible.

The two sides split amid civil war in 1949, and China continues to regard Taiwan as part of its territory.