Speculation stirs over Xi-Ma talks

Updated: 2014-02-18 02:05

By ZHAO SHENGNAN (China Daily)

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Compatriots from both sides hope to see such a meeting at an early date to boost the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties and benefit the Chinese nation and people, she added.

The Taiwan media suggested earlier that this year’s APEC meeting, scheduled in Beijing in fall, would be an appropriate occasion for Xi and Ma to meet. Both the mainland and Taiwan are member economies of the APEC regional group.

When asked about an appropriate venue for the Xi-Ma meeting, Fan said the APEC meeting has its own rules and issues should be handled in accordance with relevant memorandums of understanding.

Wang Hailiang, a researcher at the Shanghai-based Taiwan Research Institute, said Lien is likely to push forward a Xi-Ma meeting in Beijing, but cross-Straits relations are so complicated that it remains unclear whether such a meeting can take place this year.

"Both sides are exploring ways to make it happen. They still have some time before this fall," he said.

Lien’s visit highlighted the two sides’ emphasis on exchanges — both public and between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang — that can strengthen mutual trust and complement the regular communication between the two departments in charge of cross-Straits affairs, he added.

The delegation Lien leads includes about 80 members from various sectors in Taiwan. They will attend a forum and exchange ideas with their mainland peers, Fan said, adding that Yu Zhengsheng, head of the mainland’s top advisory body, will also attend the forum.

Cross-Straits relations have improved significantly since Lien’s 2005 visit to the mainland and Ma’s taking office in 2008. A series of landmark trade and economic agreements have since been signed between the two sides, cementing the mainland’s position as Taiwan’s largest trading partner.

Xinhua and Reuters contributed to this story.

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