Nationalist leader is inaugurated

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Nationalist Party leader Ma Ying-jeou took office as Taiwan's president today, promising to seek greater economic cooperation with rival China and ease decades of tensions.

The inauguration of Ma, 57, represents a clear break from the eight-year presidency of Chen Shui-bian, whose confrontational pro-independence policies often led to friction with Beijing -- and with the U.S., Taiwan's most important foreign partner.

Vice President Vincent Siew was sworn in shortly after Ma, together with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan and his Cabinet.

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