The Xi-Ma meeting sets historic milestone

By Zhao Kejin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 13, 2015
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Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Ma Ying-jeou during their meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, Nov. 7, 2015. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Having worked through numerous difficulties, the leaders across the Taiwan Strait, Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou, initiated a historic meeting in the Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore, on Nov. 7, 2015.

An achievement of peaceful development proposed by the two sides of the Straits in 2008, the meeting was the first formal communication between the leaders since the dual governances across the Strait started in 1949.

Despite the complicated problems which may even threaten the smooth development of the two sides, the significant meeting between Xi and Ma in Singapore ushered in a new era of national rejuvenation. When they shook hands, they made a historic gesture to leave behind the tensions and disputes across the Strait.

The unification of China which is rising from the stigma of a turbulent past has been anaspiration shared by the Chinese people. The late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping has been quoted as saying, "The descendants of the Chinese nation have been unanimously looking forward to the unification of the nation and the separation is against the will of the entire nation."

Tracing back to the era ruled by Chiang Kai-shek, when he receded to Taiwan, the two sides had been in a tug of war for the legitimacy to represent the government of China. The tension was eased when the Chinese mainland proposed a peaceful unification in 1980s. The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Kuomintang reached consensus in 1992 to pave the road for the unification of the country.

However, cross-Strait relations were disturbed by Lee Teng-hui and the Democratic Progressive Party which intended to separate Taiwan from China.

The tension eased when Ma took office as the leader of Taiwan in 2008. The cross-Strait ties became closer when the economic cooperation signaled by the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) was increasingly intensive, especially after the global financial crisis, and the relations have now been steered again to the route of peaceful development.

During their meeting in Singapore, Xi and Ma reached a new consensus on the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, a political foundation following the "One China" principle proposed in the 1992 Consensus.

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