Taiwan president goes on Facebook

TAIPEI, January 28, 2011 (AFP) - Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou unveiled his Facebook page on Friday, following other leaders around the world who use the social networking site to reach out to the public.

"Hello Web surfers, I am Ma Ying-jeou and my Facebook site opens today. I am a little nervous and excited. I can get in touch with many of you through this channel," Ma said in a video greeting posted on his Facebook page.

"Many governments and leaders in the world have their own micro-blogs and I should not miss out the big trend... I hope to share my experiences and feelings with Taiwanese people on my Facebook."

Initial responses appeared positive, with more than 3,000 people saying they liked Ma's Facebook page within hours of it going on-line.

Observers say Ma went on Facebook in preparation for next year's presidential election, as more and more politicians on the Internet-savvy island have started to appeal to voters via blogs and social networking sites.

Ma, who won a landslide victory in 2008 on a Beijing-friendly platform, is widely expected to run for a second and final four-year term in 2012.