Speculation stirs over Xi-Ma talks

Updated: 2014-02-18 02:05

By ZHAO SHENGNAN (China Daily)

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Mainland remains open and positive on the possibility, says spokeswoman

Beijing said on Monday it remains "positive and open" about a possible meeting between leaders from both sides of the Taiwan Straits, but gave no clear venue or timeframe for what would be a historic meeting.

A Taiwan-affairs spokeswoman from the mainland made the remarks as recent high-level interactions across the Straits have stirred discussions of a possible meeting between Party chief Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s leader, Ma Ying-jeou.

Xi is scheduled to meet Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Lien Chan on Tuesday.

In 2005, Lien helped resolve a decades-long deadlock between the mainland and Taiwan through his ice-breaking visit to the mainland to meet then-Party chief Hu Jintao.

Lien’s arrival on Monday came shortly after a landmark meeting between Taiwan’s mainland affairs chief, Wang Yu-chi, and his mainland counterpart, Zhang Zhijun, last week, the first formal official meeting between the two sides since 1949.

Both sides agreed to open a regular communication channel between their departments, leading to speculations over whether Xi and Ma will meet this year.

The Taiwan media reported that Lien has no specific mission on the latest mainland visit.

Speaking at a regular press briefing, Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Monday that a Xi-Ma meeting was "not a topic for discussion" during the meeting between Zhang and Wang.

"As for a meeting between the leaders on both sides of the Straits, we have said many times that this is something we have upheld for many years, and we have always had an open and positive attitude toward it."

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