Taiwan voices high expectation for upcoming Xi-Ma meeting

Updated: 2015-11-04 22:16


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Many media highlighted the coincidence that the meeting will be held in Singapore where the first round of cross-Strait talks was held in 1993.

Wang Daohan, then president of the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS); and Koo Chen-fu, then chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), were present at the ground breaking meeting in Singapore in April 1993, based on a common understanding later known as the "1992 Consensus". It paved the way for further improvement of ties.

Unfortunately, after 1998, meetings were suspended because then Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui began to pursue "Taiwan independence."

It was not until 2008 that the heads of ARATS and SEF met again, in Beijing. Since then, 11 rounds of talks have been held and a number of important cross-Strait agreements signed, including lifting bans on direct shipping, air transport and postal services in 2008, and the long-awaited Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement in 2010.

Political observers consider the meeting a landmark event in the natural progression of cross-Strait relations.

Shaw Chong-Hai, a mainland affairs expert with the Chinese Culture University in Taipei, told Xinhua that the meeting reflects accumulated mutual understanding and trust between the two sides through positive interactions since 2008.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange's main index opened higher and continued to climb sharply during the day, reflecting hopes of further warming in cross-Strait ties after the meeting.

Wang Chung-peng, president of Peng Ching International Group, told Xinhua that Taiwan business people hope the meeting will bring long-lasting peace and stability.

"I appreciate the two leaders' vision and wisdom," Wang said. "The current peaceful situation across the Strait has greatly benefited Taiwan firms that do business on the mainland. We expect the meeting to touch on issues that are vital to ordinary people and bring about rewarding results."

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