Ma-Xi meet was 'very disappointing': Taiwan opposition leader

Ma-Xi meet was 'very disappointing': Taiwan opposition leader
PHOTO: Reuters

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen sharply rebuked President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday for violating Taiwan's expectations in his meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The leaders of Taiwan and China met yesterday afternoon in Singapore, in what was the first time since the end of China's Civil War in 1949.

Tsai, in Yunlin County, issued a firm rebuke to Ma for what she called a betrayal of the Taiwan majority.

"After watching the Ma-Xi meeting on television this afternoon, I believe that the majority of the people of Taiwan are very disappointed," Tsai said on the campaign trail in southern Taiwan.

Tsai reiterated her charge that event preparations had been a backdoor dealing and said Ma's remarks in Singapore would further inflame that controversy.

"We had expected that President Ma would speak (to Xi) about Taiwan's democracy, Taiwan's freedom, the existence of the Republic of China and more importantly, the freedom of choice that the Taiwanese people have," Tsai said, reading from a prepared statement.

"However, he did not mention any of these issues."

Hours before the summit on Saturday, the DPP had released a statement with recommendations for the Ma-Xi meet.

"This morning, we said we hoped President Ma would do three things - protect the freedom of choice of the 23 million people of Taiwan, interact without political prerequisites and interact on the basis of equality. He did not do even one of these three things," Tsai said.

Tsai charged Ma for using the talks to concretize a political framework that would limit Taiwan voters' choices in cross-strait relations.

"I believe the DPP can lead the people of Taiwan in expressing their true voice," Tsai said.

Chu Urges Long View

Earlier yesterday, Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu called for optimism and taking the long view when evaluating the Ma-Xi meet.

"It is not helpful to adopt an ironic approach," Chu said, referring to opposition party accusations that Ma arranged the meeting to sway elections results or establish his place in history.

Chu said the talks in Singapore were a hard-won milestone that would prove beneficial for economic and social stability.

KMT Legislative Speaker Wang Jyn-ping , while stumping for a legislator in Chiayi, also hailed the Ma-Xi meet as a landmark and said it has institutionalized a means of future encounters between the leaders of Taiwan and China.

 

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