Your primer to an issue in the news What? The Taiwanese presidential election was fiercely fought between Kuomintang candidate Ma Ying-jeou and Frank Hsieh Chang-ting of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. Who? Who won the election? Mr Ma, 57, who was born in Hong Kong, scored a crushing victory over his rival. The Harvard Law School graduate and two-time Taipei mayor said he will work hard from day one to live up to his promise to improve livelihoods. When? The election was held last Saturday, with 17 million islanders being eligible to vote. Both parties sent out hundreds of thousands of text messages seeking support for their candidates as the contest reached a climax. Where? The island of Taiwan lies about 120 kilometres off the southeastern coast of China. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland. Why? Why is Mr Ma's victory so important for both China and the United States? Mr Ma wants to improve relations with China, unlike outgoing Taiwanese President, Chen Shui-bian, whose pro-independence stance has angered both Washington and Beijing. How? How has the US reacted? President George W. Bush congratulated Mr Ma on his victory, saying it provided a 'fresh opportunity' for China and Taiwan to resolve their differences peacefully.