Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou claims victory in presidential elections held on Saturday. Reuters

Incumbent Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou claimed victory in the presidential election held on January 14.

Although the final results are not yet announced, Nationalist Party leader Ma Ying-jeou has reportedly got about 53 percent of votes against his nearest rival Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, who won 45 percent of votes. The third candidate James Soong has got less than three percent of votes.

Ma-jeou, who has always spoken for greater ties with China, can now work to improve ties between the two countries.

His rival Tsai campaigned that Ma's policy might threaten the island nation's sovereignty. China does not recognise Taiwan as an independent country.

Ties with China are an important political issue, but this time unemployment and economic downturn were discussed and debated.