Ma to meet Xi in Singapore Nov 7

Ma to meet Xi in Singapore Nov 7
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R).
PHOTO: Reuters

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Presidential Office confirmed late yesterday that President Ma Ying-Jeou will meet with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping on a visit to Singapore on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen said the purpose of the Ma-Xi meet is to consolidate cross-strait peace and maintain the status quo. No agreement will be signed and there will be no joint announcement.

Premier Mao Chi-kuo and Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Tseng Yung-chuan will explain the whole situation to Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and party whips from all parties in the Legislative Yuan today.

President Ma will hold an international press conference on Thursday, Nov. 5, to disclose more details of the meeting to the nation and world news agencies.

Chen said it is the common goal of cross-strait leaders to pursue peace, and Ma has already announced that he would not exclude the possibility of meeting the leader of mainland China "at the proper time and in the proper place."

The decision to meet Xi and discuss common matters of concern was hammered out weeks ago, but the Presidential Office still had not announced this to the public until late yesterday.

Xi was invited by Singapore President Tony Tan to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of friendly relations between Singapore and China. Xi is scheduled to be in Singapore on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7, after his visit to Vietnam.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, Ma will be invited as a banquet guest, where Xi and Ma will be able to interact naturally with each other. Xi will reportedly return to Beijing after the banquet ends.

The rundown for Xi's visit is reported as follows: On Nov. 6, Xi will attend the welcoming event in Singapore, meet Tan and finally, attend a national banquet. On Nov. 7, after a grand opening held by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Center, Xi will deliver a speech at the National University of Singapore, meet former Consulate-General Lee Hsien Loong, witness a memorandum signing, visit a botanical garden and attend a private banquet for lunch.

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