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Ma-Xi meet expected to set framework for future cross-strait summits

Hong Kong, Nov. 4 (CNA) The upcoming meeting between Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) is expected to set a framework for future contacts between the leaders of the two sides across Taiwan Strait, a Hong Kong-based China expert said Wednesday. Ma and Xi will meet with each other in Singapore Nov. 7, Taiwan's Presidential Office announced early Wednesday. In his comment, Leung Kwok-leung (???) said the planned meeting demonstrates the determination of the two leaders to push for the further development of cross-strait relations. For the Taiwanese businesses operating in China, the Singapore meeting will be "a good thing," Leung said. The Ma-Xi meeting will be a history-making event, as the top leaders of Taiwan and China have never met since the Republic of China (ROC) government moved to Taiwan in 1949 during a civil war in China. The Chinese mainland is now ruled by the People's Republic of China (PRC). After Ma assumed office in May 2008, the long-frozen links between the two sides began to thaw and warm up. Leung said that the upcoming Ma-Xi meeting will be another breakthrough in cross-strait ties, following one in 2005, when Lien Chan (??), then-chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang, visited China and met then-Chinese President and Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao (???). Lien's visit was at that time acclaimed as an ice-breaking trip. Ten years after that historic meeting, Ma and Xi will meet with each other in Singapore, where they are anticipated to take the cross-strait relations to a new level, Leung said. The upcoming Ma-Xi meeting indicates that aside from its insistence on the "one China" principle, Beijing is no longer rigidly adhering to its stance on disputed issues, such as the problem of designation, the political commentator said. For the long term, the meeting could set a framework for future contacts between the leaders of the two sides, he said. According to sources from China that are familiar with the details of the Singapore event, Xi and Ma will attend the summit as "leaders of the two sides" of the strait. During the meeting, they will address each other as "Mr.," the sources said. In Taiwan, Presidential Office spokesman Chen Yi-hsin (???) said that the summit is aimed at consolidating cross-strait peace and maintaining the status quo, and that no agreement will be signed and no joint statement will be issued. (By Stanley Cheung and Elizabeth Hsu)

Updated : 2021-09-20 20:40 GMT+08:00