China Uses Trade To Influence Taiwan Election

By Salon Staff

Published January 9, 2012 8:18AM (EST)

XUEJIA, Taiwan (AP) — China is an undeclared but widely acknowledged player in Taiwan's upcoming election.

Saturday's vote pits a China-favored incumbent against a challenger whose party on paper rejects the unification with China that Beijing wants.

Beijing hopes that Taiwanese voters will think of the benefits trade with China brings.

It has reduced import duties on orchids, tropical fruits and other regional specialties from Taiwan as part of a landmark 2010 trade agreement. Fish farmers on the terraced plains above Taiwan's west coast are exporting tons of sweet, flaky milkfish to the mainland, thanks to the lower duties.

The latest polls show a neck and neck race.

Salon Staff

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