Chinese mainland authorities announced Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou will meet in Singapore on Saturday to exchanges views on peaceful development across the Straits. The Xi-Ma meeting is a major breakthrough in relations between Taiwan and the mainland. It will exert a positive influence on the island’s future policy toward the mainland and lay a firm foundation for the way the world perceives this relationship.
Since the Wang-Koo meeting in 1993, the level of meetings between leaders from the two sides has been getting higher, but no breakthrough has been made yet, mainly because it is difficult to define their identities and titles. Taiwan has hoped to identify its leaders as “president,” to which the mainland cannot agree since this is not only a matter of identity, but of the nature of mainland-Taiwan relations.
According to Zhang Zhijun, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, Xi and Ma will meet as the “leaders” of both sides upon negotiations in line with the one-China principle when political differences between the two sides remain.
Xi and Ma will call each other “Mister,” which will be a unique phenomenon in top meetings.
This practical arrangement will create space for both sides to seek a solution in future. The Taiwan question can generally go into three directions – maintaining the status quo, stepping into unification, or realizing so-called “Taiwan Independence.”
It is unlikely that the cross-Straits relationship will maintain its current exact status quo as it is changing all the time. “Taiwan independence” has been driven by interior extreme forces. Meanwhile, the counter thrusts include the mainland’s increasingly powerful clout and the positive mainstream forces from Taiwan itself. The world is also anticipating closer cross-Straits ties. These forces shape the big picture of closer cross-Straits relations.
Xi’s political appeal has impressed both sides of the Straits and the whole world. The long anticipated meeting will be finally realized in his first-term. His appeal is essential for taking key steps to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Ma deserves warm applause for his willingness to have the meeting. With seven months left in office, during his term the 1992 Consensus has been well upheld and cross-Straits cooperation prospers. Despite his controversial governance of Taiwan, the positive factors of cross-Straits ties may have a longer influence on Taiwan’s future path than Ma’s term.
The opposition camp in Taiwan has made immediate objections, hoping to control public opinion. But they should be aware that the historic meeting is supported by the whole world, including the US, and they are displaying jiggery-pokery from a small circle. Such extremism is bound to be stigmatized.
The Xi-Ma meeting has excited Chinese people worldwide. International society is also interested in seeing the two sides taking a pragmatic step forward. Applause will be heard globally for the victory of peace and rationality. – Global Times