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Xi-Ma meeting in the spotlight

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

11-06-2015 18:25 BJT

By Han Jinwei, Director of tuanjiewang.cn under the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang


The leaders from both sides of the Taiwan Straits Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou are to meet in Singapore on November 7, the first meeting of its kind, since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

 

The meeting is long overdue, and has aroused strong reactions from both sides of the Taiwan Straits and among the international community. They hail the "Xi-Ma Meeting" as a "landmark."

The announcement of the "Xi-Ma Meeting" in Singapore shocked the world, not only because it's the very firt meeting, but also of its timing and location. .

The rehabilitation and development of the mainland China and Taiwan link has undergone difficulties. 30 years after the founding of the PRC, the mainland and Taiwan have confronted each other in a cold war manner.

The doors for trade, cultural and people exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits were closed. But blood ties have never been cut off.

Bowing to pressure from the needs of the Taiwan island people, from the 1950s, the Taiwan "Commodities Bureau" began purchasing Chinese herbs and agricultural products of mainland China from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The year 1979 marked a historic turning point for cross-strait relations.

The National People's Congress (China's top legislature) proposed in A Message to Compatriots in Taiwan for "peaceful reunification and one country, two system" policy, and had initiated transportation, postal services and trade communications, along with interchanges of academic, culture, sports and technology.

The proposal removed obstacles between both sides.

In 1992, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) reached the "92 consensus," which set up the first "Wang-Koo talks" held in Singapore in 1993.

It laid the foundation for cross-straits interactions and peace negotiations.

Singapore has witnessed the peaceful development of cross-straits relations. As the only overseas Chinese predominant country, Singapore has played a pivotal role to improve cross-straits exchanges.

From the Wang-Koo talks until now, Singapore's late-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his son, also his successor Lee Hsien Loong, have developed intimate relations with Taiwan.

Lee Kuan Yew had enjoyed good contacts with the leaders of mainland China as well. Taiwan has insisted on a meeting in the international arena, mainland China, on the other hand, insisted not to internationalize the Taiwan issue.

Amidst a stalemate, the "Singapore tradition" had become the likely choice to host a meeting for both sides.

Since the recovery of contacts, trade relations and personnel exchanges between both sides have become more frequent, along with culture exchanges.

Compared with the economic and cultural craze, political topics and  contacts between China's central  government and Taiwan authorities had remained stagnant.

The "politically cold" situation stood as an obstacle for both sides to enhance mutual trust, but avoided an "economically overheated" scenario. Current cross-straits relations are important, but not knowing where to go.

From the Taiwan island perspective, Ma Ying-jeou's "presidency" is drawing to a close, while his performance and the Kuomintang (KMT) in Taiwan have faced increasing scrutiny with a slim chance for the KMT to keep power after the 2016 elections.

For Xi on the other hand, Taiwan remains a focus, ever since he served as Deputy Mayor of Xiamen city, south China's Fujian Province 30 years ago.

At the end of Ma Ying-jeou's term, the successful "Meeting of Xi and Ma" can highlight Ma's legacy, and promote cross-straits interactions.

Compared with the "Wang-Koo talks" and the "KMT- CPC talks", the "Xi-Ma Meeting" goes even further. At one swoop, it steps onto a new stage for leaders from both sides of the Taiwan Straits to open up new development for cross-straits relations.

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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