While Hong Kong's political crisis has bolstered Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian's re-election hopes, the island's political analysts say his use of the anti-mainland card might not guarantee success. Mr Chen said last week in an interview with Asia Wall Street Journal that the mainland could not be trusted because of its attempt to push through national security legislation for Hong Kong. 'Fewer and fewer people will believe that what the Beijing authorities say is for real,' Mr Chen was quoted as saying, referring to the central government's promise to allow Hong Kong people a high degree of autonomy. Mr Chen also rejected that he would accept the 'one country, two systems' formula. His criticism was widely seen as an attempt to boost his floundering re-election campaign. Public anger towards the mainland has surged since the Sars outbreak, during which the central government blocked attempts by Taiwan to gain observer status at the World Health Organisation. Analysts said the political crisis in Hong Kong had strengthened negative feelings on the island, forcing even the pro-unification Kuomintang (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) to alter their position. 'No one dares show their closeness to Beijing now,' said Chao Chien-min, an expert on cross-strait ties at National Chengchi University in Taipei. He said the KMT and PFP had also criticised the mainland recently and avoided referring to the 'one China' principle. However, analysts said Mr Chen's attempt to condemn the mainland to boost his re-election hopes might fail, particularly with Taiwan's economy continuing to decline amid record unemployment and low growth. 'The economy is the issue and that does not bold well for the ruling party,' Professor Chao said. Chang Jung-kong, director-general of the KMT's department of mainland affairs, said: 'Chen Shui-bian's only re-election plan is to get Taiwanese people to hate the mainland. However, to get our economy going, we must improve our ties with the mainland.' Analysts also said the mainland was unlikely to change its cross-strait policy in the near future. Professor Chao said despite the fallout from Hong Kong, mainland leaders remained confident the policy of stepping up ties would push Taiwan towards reunification.