Taiwan's Ma to meet Xi in Singapore: Report

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou (left) is to fly to Singapore on Saturday to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou (left) is to fly to Singapore on Saturday to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. PHOTO: REUTERS

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou is to fly to Singapore on Saturday to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first time that the top leaders of the two sides will be meeting since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

Quoting unnamed senior officials, the Taiwanese official Central News Agency reported that the two leaders will exchange views on consolidating cross-strait peace and maintaining the status quo. However, no agreement will be signed nor will a joint statement be issued.

Reacting to news of the impending meeting, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was quick to slam it, saying that "the people of Taiwan will not accept such a meeting".

DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming told Apple Daily that Mr Ma, who has just half a year of his term left, is a lame-duck president with no power to discuss any issue with Mr Xi.

Mr Ma's Kuomintang fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war to the Chinese Communist Party. Exchanges between the two sides began in the late 1980s.

If the meeting takes place, it will be the second time Singapore is playing a part in a breakthrough event in ties between the two political rivals. In 1993, the two sides held landmark public talks for the first time, in Singapore, at which four agreements were signed to promote trade and people-to-people exchanges.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2015, with the headline 'Taiwan's Ma to meet Xi in Singapore: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe