Taiwan press on Sunday hailed the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party's win in parliamentary elections as the dawn of strong Taiwan-China ties.
In its editorial, the United Daily News said the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) must punish President Chen Shui-bian, hinting that Chen's poor performance in his two four-year terms as Taiwan's president had caused the party's election setback.Two business dailies - the Commercial Times and Economic Daily News - said a rally is expected when trading starts on Monday, and China-related shares are expected to surge in anticipation of Taiwan's opening direct sea and air links with China.
In the parliament elections on Saturday, Taiwan's largest opposition party, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), swept 81 seats in the 113-seat parliament, while the ruling party Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) got only 27, dashing President Chen's wish for 50 seats.
Chen resigned as DPP party chairman Saturday night, shouldering responsibility for a defeat he admitted was the party's biggest since its founding in 1986.
The KMT was the ruling party in China from 1912 until 1949, when it lost the Civil War in China and fled to Taiwan to set up a government-in-exile.
It ruled Taiwan with an iron fist until 2000 when the Taiwan native DPP won the presidential election and Chen became president.
Chen's rejection of Beijing's "one China" policy and his campaign to erase China's legacy in Taiwan has raised tension in the Taiwan Strait.
The KMT has adopted a softer stance towards China, saying Taipei and Beijing should put aside hostility and focus on economic integration and people-to-people exchanges.
Now that KMT has regained power, it must go all out to win the March 22 presidential polls. Public opinion polls have shown that KMT's presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou leads his DPP rival Frank Hsien by about 10 per cent. ( dpa )