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KMT presidential candidate urges broad view of Ma-Xi meeting

KMT presidential candidate urges broad view of Ma-Xi meeting

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (???) urged the public on Saturday to use a broad perspective to judge the meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (???). On the campaign trail in Taoyuan, Chu told his supporters that the Ma-Xi meeting was positive for the development of relations across the Taiwan Strait and was expected to boost cross-strait exchanges in the future. When Ma and Xi met in Singapore on Saturday, it was the first time the leaders of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and People's Republic of China had ever met after 66 years of mostly hostile stand-off. Opposition parties tried to remove any luster from the meeting in the past three days, attacking the meeting on several grounds. They speculated that Ma was using the meeting as a strategy to influence the upcoming presidential election scheduled for Jan. 16 or was trying to carve out a legacy. Some even suggested the unpopular Ma might make back-door deals with Xi that would draw Taiwan further under Beijing's influence. Chu criticized the opposition for its narrow view of the meeting and its view that Ma was simply using it to embellish his status in history. Chu said it was critical for the leaders of Taiwan and Beijing to sit down and talk face to face, and he believed the public will support peace and further cooperation across the Taiwan Strait, which is important to Taiwan's economic development and social stability. The KMT chairman, who received a warm welcome from his supporters in Taoyuan, where he was born, said that the Ma-Xi meeting was a historic moment in the 66 years after the separation between Taiwan and China and was as a milestone in cross-strait ties. The holding of the meeting was encouraging in itself, Chu said, because it was not easy for Taiwan and China to reach such a point. The KMT chairman said the KMT had taken solid and concrete steps to facilitate the pace of developing cross-strait ties, but the DPP had done the opposite to hurt cross-strait relations, including blocking passage of a trade-in-services agreement Taipei and Beijing signed in June 2013. Chu called for the DPP to embrace an open mind in facing cross- strait exchanges. China policy was a strength for the KMT in the 2012 presidential election when Ma won re-election against Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, but severe distrust of Beijing has grown since then amid fears that Taiwan has grown too dependent on China. Tsai is running for election again and is considered a virtual shoo-in against Chu, who trails far behind Tsai in the polls. (By Chiu Chun-ching and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-22 14:47 GMT+08:00