By Ma Fei
On November 7, President Xi Jinping and Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou will shake hands during their historic meeting in Singapore, where they will exchange views about the development of the cross-Straits relationship. The meeting between Xi and Ma marks a breakthrough in cross-Straits ties and will generate positive momentum for the island region’s future policy regarding the Chinese mainland. It has attracted significant attention not only in China but across the globe, as it establishes a solid framework for the world’s understanding of the relationship across the Straits.
Though the leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have never met before, the heads of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Kuomintang (KMT) have shaken hands several times over the past decade. As an old saying goes, brothers are still brothers after surviving disasters, and together they have pushed forward effective communication and frank exchange, as we can see today.
April 29, 2005
Hu Jintao: Historic strides made by the two parties
Hu Jintao, then general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, met Lien Chan, then leader of the Kuomintang. In Hu’s welcome speech, he characterized Lien’s visit as an important event both in the history of the relationship between the CPC and Kuomintang and in the history of cross-Straits ties, saying that the moment Lien set foot on the mainland marked a historic stride by both parties, signifying that communication had come to a new stage and showing sincere determination to improve the cross-Straits relationship.
May 28, 2008 – March 22, 2012
Five meetings between Hu and Wu
Hu Jintao met Wu Poh-hsiung, then chairman of the KMT, in 2008. Hu stressed that the two parties should both seize opportunities to push forward the peaceful development of the mainland and Taiwan and make breakthroughs for the profit of Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.
The meeting resulted in a consensus between the two parties that helped fundamentally improve the relationship between the mainland and Taiwan. In June 2008, Chen Yunlin met Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) for the first time. In December of the same year, the mainland and Taiwan realized “three direct links.”
After that, another four meetings were arranged between Wu and Hu. During this period, the mainland and Taiwan signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and thus entered a new stage of economic cooperation.
February 25, 2013
Xi: Peaceful development of cross-Straits ties to promote peaceful reunification
On February 25, 2013, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, met Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the KMT, and people from all walks of life in Taiwan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi stressed that continuing to push forward the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties and promoting the peaceful reunification of the mainland and Taiwan is the responsibility of the new central leading collective of the CPC.
Xi pointed out that the mainland has the confidence to unswervingly push forward the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties, to overcome all kinds of difficulties to pave the way for new breakthroughs, and to welcome the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation together with Taiwanese compatriots. He stressed that the mainland shall try even harder in the future to reach new achievements in communication and cooperation between the mainland and Taiwan to benefit all Chinese people.
June 13, 2013
Xi: Unswerving on promotion of peaceful development across the Straits
Xi stressed that cross-Straits ties had come to a new starting point and faced important opportunities, adding that both sides should soberly draw upon their experiences to develop a clear understanding of the current situation and take the initiative to adapt to changes. He said that both the mainland and Taiwan should unswervingly persist in promoting peaceful development across the Straits and consolidate and deepen cross-Straits communication regarding politics, economics, culture and society to support the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties.
May 4, 2015
Xi: Striving together for a future relationship across the Straits
Xi Jinping met with KMT Chairman Eric Chu in Beijing. Xi stressed that the relationship across the Straits was at a key point in its development. He said that the exact nature of the relationship’s continued growth is a significant question that affects the future of the nation and the well-being of hundreds of millions of people, so it must be carefully considered. Xi advised that the CPC and KMT should strengthen their communication and strive together to blaze a new trail toward a brighter future for the cross-Straits relationship.
September 1, 2015
Xi: The mainland and Taiwan are inseparable and share the same fate
On September 1, Xi Jinping met with Lien Chan and a delegation of people from Taiwan who visited Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Chinese people’s victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and World War II.
Xi stated that, having weathered the same history, people on both sides of the Straits have deeply realized that the mainland and Taiwan are inseparable and share the same fate. Xi stressed that a powerful nation is a safeguard for the livelihood, development and respect of all Chinese people, including those in Taiwan. He said that we should remember the lessons of history and continue to jointly express our nation’s long-held principles of rejection of aggression, love of peace and pursuit of development, striving together for the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. (The Daily Mail – People’s Daily news exchange item)
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