May 19, 2008

Taiwan: New President And Earthquake Combine To Create Immediate Thaw In Relations

Tomorrow will see Ma Ying-jeou sworn in as the next President of the Republic of China. Yet even before he has been sworn in China has indicated that it will host a visit by the Chairman of Ma's Party the Kuomintang (KMT - GMD in pinyin) to China starting May 26. China has also accepted Taiwanese participation in relief efforts related to the Sichuan earthquake (which was widely felt in Taiwan even though it is a huge distance from the epicentre).

An offer of help from Taiwan was one of the first that China accepted after its deadly quake last week. Taiwan's Red Cross has said China agreed to accept a 20-person emergency relief team. Taiwan is also sending a cargo plane with tents and medical supplies.