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Taiwan's Ma wins election

Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party won the presidential election by a landslide on Saturday.

world Updated: Mar 22, 2008 20:29 IST

Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party won the presidential election by a landslide on Saturday, heralding improved ties with giant neighbor China which claims the self-ruled island as its own.

But President-elect Ma Ying-jeou said he would only consider signing a peace deal with China -- an offer Beijing has made with conditions -- if it stopped aiming missiles at Taiwan.

China has claimed Taiwan as its territory since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 and has threatened to bring the island under its control -- by force if necessary.

Taiwan says China has around 1,000 missiles aimed at the island.

"Before we can talk about peace, we need to remove the threat," Ma told reporters after announcing his victory to thousands of cheering supporters in downtown Taipei.

He said he had no immediate plans to go to China.

Chinese President Hu Jintao offered broad peace talks with Taiwan earlier this month, but under the so-called "one China" policy.

That contends the island and the mainland are part of a single sovereign country, a concept Taiwan's current government has rejected.