Go TO Content

President Ma, mainland Chinese leader Xi meet in Singapore, agree to jointly consolidate cross-strait peace and prosperity

  • Date:2015-11-07

November 7, 2015
MAC Press Release No. 62

ROC President Ma Ying-jeou met with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping Nov. 7 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, in the first such meeting since the two sides of the Taiwan Strait came under separate governance 66 years ago in 1949. After shaking hands, the two leaders got down to business, reviewing the course of cross-strait relations and exchanging views on maintaining their peaceful development. President Ma put forth five points to perpetuate the peaceful and prosperous status quo, calling on both sides to take to heart the values and way of life cherished by the people. The meeting proceeded in a frank and cordial manner.

President Ma’s five points for reinforcing the peaceful and prosperous status quo are (1) consolidation of the 1992 Consensus and the maintenance of the peace, (2) reduction of hostility and peaceful handling of disputes, (3) expansion of cross-strait exchanges and mutual benefits, (4) establishment of a cross-strait hotline to handle important or urgent matters, and (5) joint cooperation for cross-strait prosperity.

During the meeting President Ma brought up other issues including trade in goods, the reciprocal establishment of representative offices, transit in Taiwan for mainland Chinese travelers, mainland vocational students studying in Taiwan, international space and participation in regional economic integration (for example, TPP, RCEP, and bilateral economic cooperation), and military security. He expressed the hope that the mainland Chinese side will handle these matters in a pragmatic fashion, and urged both sides to work under conditions of mutual respect toward substantive progress on issues already under negotiation. Mainland Chinese leader Xi responded positively to President Ma’s proposals and the issues he raised, and said he would seriously consider how to put them into practice.

The two sides have developed for 66 years under different systems, President Ma stressed, with their relations going from military confrontation to cooperative exchanges based solely on the value of peace. He called on mainland China to recognize that only cross-strait relations founded on dignity, respect, sincerity, and good will can promote mutual trust and understanding, and thus go the distance.

The Mainland Affairs Council said that in the meeting both sides affirmed the major achievements in cross-strait relations of the last seven years. They agreed that the 1992 Consensus should be reinforced as the basis for relations to sustain the peaceful development of ties and peace in the Taiwan Strait, strengthen dialogue, expand exchanges, deepen cooperation, and realize mutual benefits, for the good of people on both sides of the strait.

During the formal meeting President Ma told Xi Jinping that the consensus reached between the two sides in November 1992 was that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait insist on the “one China” principle, but they differ as to what that means, and each could express its interpretation verbally. This is the 1992 Consensus of “one China, respective interpretations,” a position reached in accordance with the Republic of China Constitution, fully demonstrating the ROC’s national sovereignty and dignity. In addition, he stated unequivocally that security and dignity are important concerns for the people of Taiwan, and asked the mainland Chinese side to understand this clearly.

MAC emphasized that the peace and prosperity achieved over the last seven years is proof that the two sides have beat their swords into plowshares, becoming in the process models of stability in East Asia. The meeting in Singapore between President Ma and mainland Chinese leader Xi set a precedent for regular meetings between leaders of the two sides. As the beginning of the further institutionalization of relations, it will lay the foundation for regular cross-strait interaction, leading to deeper mutual trust.

Also participating in the meeting were ROC Secretary-General to the President Tseng Yung-chuan, National Security Council Secretary-General Kao Hua-chu, MAC Minister Hsia Li-yan, National Security Council Senior Advisor Chiu Kun-Shuan, Deputy Secretary-General to the President Hsiao Hsu-tsen, and MAC Deputy Minister Wu Mei-hung. Following the meeting, President Ma convened an international news conference, after which he had dinner with Xi Jinping before flying back to Taiwan.