Thu, Nov 05, 2015 - Page 3 News List

MA-XI MEETING: KMT caucus upbeat over planned meeting

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus yesterday hold a press conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei to support Saturday’s planned meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus yesterday said it has a positive view of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), adding that China has made a concession by agreeing to meet Ma in a third country.

KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said there is no chance that Taiwan will be belittled at the meeting, as it is to take place in Singapore, rather than in Taiwan or China.

“Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had hoped to meet with [the Chinese leader] during his term and so did former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). That Ma could now meet with the Chinese president is actually a breakthrough in the cross-strait relationship,” Lai said. “That the meeting is to take place in a third country rules out possible controversies and ensures mutual respect will be upheld.”

“Ma will be setting up a platform, which is similar to the one established by the Koo talks. It could be used by future leaders of the two sides to meet and discuss substantive issues,” he added, referring to the talks between then-Straits Exchange Foundation chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) and then-Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits president Wang Daohan (汪道涵)

In response to questions over the timing of the meeting’s announcement, Lai said: “It is Wednesday today and Ma is visiting Singapore on Saturday, which means that the Executive Yuan reported to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and the Mainland Affairs Council spoke to the caucuses three days ahead of Ma’s trip.”

“[The reporting process] corresponds to the [basic idea of the] oversight mechanism that has been called for by many,” Lai said.

“Besides pre-meeting reporting, the [KMT] caucus has already signed a motion, proposing to have the president present a ‘state of the nation address’ to parliament after he returns from Singapore,” Lai said.

There are two ways the president could come to the legislature to address to the lawmakers; one is on the president’s own initiative and the other when at least a quarter of the legislators propose it and half of the legislature approves the motion, Lai said. “The motion proposed by us will be put on the next Procedure Committee meeting agenda.”

“[Beijing] has for years precluded the possibility of ‘internationalizing’ the ‘Taiwan problem,’ as it deems the problem an internal one, to the extent of considering internationalizing the problem tantamount to [acknowledging] Taiwanese independence,” KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said.

“However, this time the venue of the meeting is Singapore,” Lin said, adding that if it were any Chinese city, the KMT lawmakers would be the first to oppose the meeting.

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