China and Taiwan to hold summit after 66 years

Nov 05, 2015, 08:40 am

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China's President Xi Jinping/ Source from Xinhua News Agency

By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - China's President Xi Jinping and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou will meet on Saturday in Singapore for the first time since a civil war in 1949. This meeting is a historic event of China-Taiwan relations history since the leaders of the two countries, who once had a fierce battle against each other, are meeting after 66 years.

Considering the November 11th reports of Xinhua and other Chinese state-run news agencies, the meeting won't go beyond common sense. The director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, Zhang Zhijun, said the two leaders would exchange views on promoting the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan strait. In other words, the meeting is aimed to promote China-Taiwan relation development and eventually seek ways for unification.  

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou/ Source from search engine Baidu

However, the situations of the two sides are quite different. China is dealing with cross-strait relationship based on its one-China policy. This is why China seems under pressure as China-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to win the presidential election in January. Eric Chu, the candidate for the governing Kuomintang (KMT), is trailing far behind Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen in opinion polls. China wants to turn the tables somehow so that China-friendly KMT continues to rule. For China, supporting KMT by making a big event such as China-Taiwan summit would be the answer. It goes same with KMT. The Taiwanese ruling party needs to appeal to the voters for support by putting emphasis on the importance of China-Taiwan relations and economic ties. The best way to maximize the effect would be holding a summit between the two countries.

However, it seems difficult for the upcoming summit to obtain any historical agreements or results. The meeting is expected to be a place where both sides reconfirm that there is only "one China". Besides, it is expected to make a big impact on the upcoming presidential election in Taiwan, but not enough to go against the trend.

#China #Taiwan #summit #KMT #one-China 
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