Ma Lauds China for Not Censoring Taiwan Poll News

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Newly re-elected President Ma Ying-jeou has praised Chinese leaders for not censoring Internet reports about Taiwan’s recent presidential election.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou declares his victory in the presidential election, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, in Taipei, Taiwan. Ma won a close re-election fight, leveraging his message of greater prosperity through expanded ties with China to beat his populist-minded opponent, Tsai Ing-wen. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Ma said Monday that in a break with the past, Chinese authorities allowed Internet portals to give a factual account of Taiwan’s voting on Jan. 14.

He said the reports could educate the Chinese about democracy and lead to positive developments in relations.

Many Chinese said they were impressed with the Taiwanese election, including how Ma’s challenger, Tsai Ing-wen, graciously conceded defeat.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. While seeking to improve relations, Ma also hopes Taiwan’s democracy can help moderate China’s authoritarian government.