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China looms large as Taiwan's political pendulum swings

TAIPEI   The pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party continues to poll well ahead of the Beijing-friendly Nationalist Party in Taiwan's presidential race. Assuming the lead holds up on election day, Jan. 16, relations with China are likely to be the biggest variable for the island's economy in 2016.

     China claims Taiwan as part of its territory even though the two sides split amid a civil war in 1949. Despite simmering cross-strait tensions, Taiwanese businesses were among the first foreign investors to embrace China after the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. Over the past two decades Taiwan and China have developed close, complementary economic ties, thanks in part to their geographic proximity and cultural bonds.

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