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Ma, Xi to meet on equal footing: Chinese scholar

Beijing, Nov. 4 (CNA) An upcoming meeting in Singapore between President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) will take place on an equal footing, a Beijing-based scholar said Wednesday. Zhou Zhihuai, director of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Science, said that the meeting, scheduled for Nov. 7, will be very important, as it will seek to assure that peaceful development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations based on the so-called "1992 consensus" will be sustained in the future. The consensus is a tacit understanding reached between Taiwan and the mainland that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret what "one China" means. With regard to Taiwan's concern over the capacity in which Ma and Xi will meet and the titles they will use to address each other, Zhou said that "Beijing will surely pay attention to the issue ... and the two leaders will meet on an equal footing." It will be the first meeting between leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait since the government of the Republic of China relocated to Taiwan in 1949. Zhou, however, said that the "Ma-Xi meeting model" cannot be applicable for the future, as cross-strait summit meetings will only be possible based on "political consensus." Zhou was referring to the possibility of meetings between opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ying-wen (???) and Xi if she wins Taiwan's presidential election in January. Shi Yinhung, a professor at the Renmin University of China, said that "the meeting is coming too late and will have only limited direct political influence," as Ma's tenure will expire in just a few months. Shi also said that there would be no cross-strait leadership meeting if Tsai wins the election and refuses to accept the 1992 consensus. (By Scarlett Chai and Bear Lee)

Updated : 2021-09-23 02:47 GMT+08:00