Confirmation of the Ma-Xi meeting from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) came hours after the Presidential Office announced it just before midnight on Tuesday.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) would be meeting in their capacity as “leaders of the two sides” of the Taiwan Strait, TAO Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) was quoted as saying in a statement on the office’s Web site.
They would address each other as “mister” and attend a banquet after the meeting, the office said.
Photo: Ker Yu-hao, Taipei Times
Zhang said the two leaders would “exchange views on promoting the peaceful development of cross-Taiwan Straits relations,” Xinhua news agency reported.
“This is a pragmatic arrangement under the situation of the irresolution of cross-strait political differences on the basis of the ‘one China principle,’” Zhang said.
The arrangements avoid the words “country” and “president,” in line with Beijing’s insistence that Taiwan is not a sovereign nation, but part of China.
Meanwhile, the choice of Singapore as venue for the meeting is significant. The city-state has strong relations with both Taiwan and China, and is seen as neutral ground.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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