Standing his Ground

When opposition politicians James Soong and Lien Chan recently returned from successful bridge-building visits to China, there was every indication that Taiwan's combative President, Chen Shui-bian, and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would be solidly trounced in Saturday's National Assembly election. Chen, who opposes any talk of reunification with mainland China, had seen his popularity rating plunge to 39%, his lowest yet, in the fallout from Lien's and Soong's trips. But that number didn't count at the ballot box: the DPP was a surprise winner in the National Assembly poll, snagging 43% of the votes cast, compared with 39% for Lien's...

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