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Taiwan's Ma congratulates Nobel laureate Liu

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has congratulated jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo for winning the Nobel Peace Prize and called on China to improve its human rights record.

Ma stopped short of calling for Liu's release, apparently to avoid irking China and hurting his own efforts to improve relations with Beijing.

In a Friday message, Ma said China should respect human rights to help it achieve its proclaimed goal of a "peaceful rise."

Liu was sentenced last year to 11 years in prison on subversion charges after he co-authored a document calling for greater political freedom.

Under Ma's two-year efforts for rapprochement, tensions between Taiwan and China have dropped to their lowest level since the two sides split amid civil war in 1949.