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China-Taiwan meet is for next-gen's happiness: Ma

NEXT STOP, SINGAPORE: Chinese President Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, arriving at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, yesterday. Mr Xi will meet Taiwan President Ma in Singapore tomorrow.


    Nov 06, 2015

    China-Taiwan meet is for next-gen's happiness: Ma


    TAIWAN President Ma Ying-jeou said his meeting tomorrow with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore is about regularising contacts between the top leaders of both sides, while the media in China hailed the event as the unprecedented "political interaction" which will bring positive far-reaching implications to cross-strait ties.

    Mr Ma said at a news conference in Taipei yesterday that the meeting was not about trying to revive the fortunes of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) ahead of presidential polls in January, Taiwan's China Post and Reuters reported.

    "The object of our decision (to meet) is not the next election," Mr Ma said. "It's the happiness of the next generation."

    He pledged that the meeting - the first of such a high level since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949 - would be subject to oversight by the people of Taiwan.

    "We will explain the actual situation to Mr Xi, particularly tell them about Taiwan's status so they can better understand and take in full consideration when they formulate cross-strait policies," said Mr Ma.

    One issue Mr Ma would work on is to get China to allow Taiwan more international space, as the island is now recognised by only a few countries, reported China Post.

    China considers Taiwan a renegade province awaiting reunification, but cross-strait hostilities have subsided since Mr Ma took office in 2008.

    Despite Mr Ma's achievement of rapprochement with China, Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party which favours independence from China, is forecast to win the presidency in January, beating KMT candidate Eric Chu.

    China's official People's Daily said in an editorial yesterday that tomorrow's meeting, which would be conducted under the "One China" principle, would push ties into a new chapter, as it is a historic event that shows wisdom, courage, vision and mutual respect on both sides.

    "It will enable both sides to strengthen communication, enhance mutual trust, bring differences under control, consolidate common political grounds and promote peaceful development of ties," said People's Daily.

    "When both sides are one family again, we can then work together for the dream of a strong and prosperous China," it added.