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Ma-Xi meeting will help build mutual political trust: scholars

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) An upcoming meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) can be seen as a turning point in cross-strait relations and will help to enhance political trust between the two sides, several Taiwanese scholars said Wednesday. Ma and Xi will meet in Singapore on Saturday-- the first meeting of the leaders of China and Taiwan since 1949 when the government of the Republic of China moved to Taiwan. The meeting cannot be deemed simply as a move that changes the the historical positions of the two leaders, it can also be seen as a turning point in the development of cross-strait ties, said Chao Chun-shan (???), a professor of China Studies at Tamkang University. The meeting has been scheduled at this time mainly because of the changing domestic and foreign environment facing the two sides, Chao said. As Taiwan's 2016 presidential election approaches, issues such as the "1992 consensus" and maintaining the cross-strait status quo have sparked heated discussions on the island, Chao noted. In addition, the two sides are concerned about whether future changes in Taiwan's political environment would affect the peaceful ties between them, he said. Taiwan and China are also facing changes in their external environment arising from issues such as the territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, the U.S.-spearheaded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Chao said. Under such circumstances, he said, if the leaders of the two sides can meet to discuss issues of mutual concern, it would help to address those issues and consolidate mutual political trust, he said. Chang Wu-ueh (???), director of Tamkang University's Graduate Institute of China Studies, said Ma and Xi are meeting at this time because of their powerful sense of mission to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait. The two leaders hope to establish a political framework for the stable development of cross-strait relations at this critical juncture, Chang said. They are also hoping that that cross-strait exchanges will continue to be conducted on the basis of the current framework, regardless of who is elected president of Taiwan in 2016, Chang said. In setting up the meeting before Taiwan's presidential election, China's intention is to create a climate favorable to the maintenance and strengthening of the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, he said. Edward I-hsin Chen (???), a professor at Tamkang University, said that Beijing does not want to see a regression of cross-strait ties and to prevent this, Xi is seeking to establish a political framework for the development of such links in the future, regardless of who is elected president of Taiwan in 2016. (By C.C. Yin, Chen Chia-lun and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-09-19 09:14 GMT+08:00