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Former SEF vice chair urges Beijing on 'Ma-Xi meeting'

Former SEF vice chair urges Beijing on 'Ma-Xi meeting'

Taipei, Feb. 16 (CNA) While China and Taiwan still do not see eye-to-eye on when and where would be appropriate for a meeting of their respective presidents, a former vice chairman of Taiwan's top cross-strait negotiating body supports the meeting nonetheless. Conditions may not yet be right to bring Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou and China's President Xi Jinping together, but such a meeting would "greatly contribute to cross-strait peace," Chiu Chin-yi, former vice chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) said Sunday in a call for Beijing to consider looking at the bigger picture. Speaking at the founding of a trade promotion association for Taiwanese businesses in China, Chiu said that a Ma-Xi meetup would be good for "the Chinese race" and cross-strait peace. The 78-year-old served as SEF vice chairman and secretary-general from March to December 1993. On Sunday, he was named honorary chairman of the newly founded association meant to boost sales of "made-in-Taiwan" products in Chinese markets. Chiu described the recent landmark meeting between Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi and China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun as "great progress in cross-strait relations." The meeting represents a certain degree of mutual trust that should be maintained between the two sides, he said. Chiu expects that SEF, founded to handle cross-strait affairs in the absence of official ties, will have progressively fewer functions as each side's respective government plays a bigger role in their ties. SEF has overseen 19 agreements forged between the two sides, mostly focused on trade and academic interactions. He is confident that the organization will continue to exist, however, to handle "services" and "exchanges" between the two sides. (By Scarlett Chai and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-10-18 23:08 GMT+08:00