Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (???) left for Singapore early Saturday for a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (???), a historic summit that he hopes will become the first step toward regular talks between leaders of the two former adversaries. Speaking to reporters before his departure at the airport, Ma said he will seek to solidify peace and the status quo across the Taiwan Strait during the trip. Saying cross-strait ties have never been more stable in the past 66 years, Ma said that this is an appropriate moment to further promote the development of bilateral relations and to establish a mechanism for meetings between the leaders of Taiwan and China. He hopes that, whoever Taiwan's future presidents might be, leaders of the two sides will be able to further improve ties on the new platform that he and Xi has built. The two leaders will hold talks in a Singapore hotel later in the day, the first such meeting since before 1949, when the Kuomintang government moved to Taiwan after its defeat in a civil war with the communists.