Xi, Ma to shake hands in historic meeting: mainland official

Updated: 2015-11-05 11:05


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NANJING - Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou will shake hands in their historic meeting scheduled in Singapore on Saturday, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said Wednesday.

The two-part meeting includes one session open to media and another behind closed doors, said Zhang Zhijun, who is also head of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, when interviewed at the Zijinshan Summit for Entrepreneurs across the Taiwan Strait.

According to Zhang, Xi and Ma, in their capacity as "leaders of the two sides" of the Taiwan Strait, will exchange views during the closed-door meeting.

After the meeting, press conferences will be held by both sides. Later, the two leaders are expected to attend a dinner, said Zhang.

Zhang said the meeting will elevate cross-Strait communication to a new high and improve ties.

The landmark meeting is a breakthrough in face-to-face exchange and communication between the leaders across the Taiwan Strait after the relationship became strained following the events of 1949.

Zhang said the meeting will improve mutual trust and allow for an exchange of opinions on handling the cross-Strait ties.

In addition, the meeting will help consolidate the 1992 Consensus, which was reached in talks between the two sides in 1992 and endorses the one-China principle, and safeguards the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties, according to Zhang.

Zhang added that the scheduled meeting will also benefit regional peace and stability.

Also at Wednesday's summit, Chiang Pin-kung, former chair of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation, hailed the upcoming meeting between the two leaders as a milestone for cross-Strait ties.

Chiang told media that he believed the meeting will give a boost to the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.