World

Local election losses in Taiwan deal stiff setback to pro-China ruling party

  • Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Party mayoral candidate Sean Lien, center, bows as he concedes lost in the Taipei mayoral election at his party's headquarters, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Taipei, Taiwan. In preliminary results, Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party lost eight city and county elections Saturday, a stronger than expected jolt for the president who has staked his reputation on stronger ties with old foe Beijing despite increasing contempt at home. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Party mayoral candidate Sean Lien, center, bows as he concedes lost in the Taipei mayoral election at his party's headquarters, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Taipei, Taiwan. In preliminary results, Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party lost eight city and county elections Saturday, a stronger than expected jolt for the president who has staked his reputation on stronger ties with old foe Beijing despite increasing contempt at home. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Party react after a preliminary vote count shows their mayoral candidate Sean Lien lost, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Taipei, Taiwan. With more than 80 percent of precincts reporting Saturday, the Nationalist Party had lost eight city and county elections, including in longtime strongholds Taipei and Taichung. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    Supporters of Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Party react after a preliminary vote count shows their mayoral candidate Sean Lien lost, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Taipei, Taiwan. With more than 80 percent of precincts reporting Saturday, the Nationalist Party had lost eight city and county elections, including in longtime strongholds Taipei and Taichung. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters cheer on Taipei's new mayor-elect Ko Wen-je at his campaign headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party lost eight city and county elections Saturday, according to a preliminary vote count, a stronger than expected jolt for the president who has staked his reputation on stronger ties with old foe Beijing despite increasing contempt at home. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

    Supporters cheer on Taipei's new mayor-elect Ko Wen-je at his campaign headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party lost eight city and county elections Saturday, according to a preliminary vote count, a stronger than expected jolt for the president who has staked his reputation on stronger ties with old foe Beijing despite increasing contempt at home. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)  (The Associated Press)

A preliminary vote count shows Taiwan's pro-China ruling party has suffered stiff defeats in municipal elections, as it meets increased resistance to forging stronger ties with Beijing.

With more than 80 percent of precincts reporting Saturday, the Nationalist Party had lost eight city and county elections, including in longtime strongholds Taipei and Taichung.

The losses deal a stronger than expected blow to President Ma Ying-jeou, who has staked his reputation on stronger ties with Beijing.

That will make it tougher for the Nationalists to hold onto the presidency in 2016 and jeopardizes six years of landmark talks with China that have led to 21 agreements.