Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore on Saturday (7 Nov 2015), the first meeting between the top leaders of the two sides since 1949.
Mr Ma’s spokesman Charles Chen confirmed the meeting on Tuesday (3 Nov 2015) night. He told Taiwanese media that the intention of the visit is to “secure cross-strait peace” but that no agreement would be signed and no joint statement would be made, The Straits Times reported on Wednesday (4 Nov 2015).
Mr Chen said President Ma will leave for Singapore on Saturday where he will meet President Xi. “The purpose of President Ma’s visit is to secure cross-strait peace and maintain the status quo of the Taiwan Straits,” Mr Chen said in a statement. “No agreement will be signed, nor any joint statement be released,” he added.
The meeting will coincide with President Xi’s visit to Singapore on Nov 6-7.
It will be the first meeting between the top leaders of the two sides since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Mr Ma’s Kuomintang fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war to the Chinese Communist Party. Exchanges between the two sides began in the late 1980s.
According to the report, both sides have been in talks for quite some time to arrange the historic meeting.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council will hold a press conference on Wednesday (4 Nov 2015) to brief the media on the visit, said the report. President Ma will hold an international press conference on Thursday (5 Nov 2015).
The upcoming meeting will be the second time Singapore is playing a part in a breakthrough event in ties between the two political rivals.
In 1993, the two sides held landmark public talks for the first time, in Singapore, at which four agreements were signed to promote trade and people-to-people exchanges.