Taiwan, China can resolve differences, ex-president says after meeting Xi

Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

TAIPEI: Taiwan and China can peacefully resolve their differences, former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou said on Thursday after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, adding that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same culture and history.

Ma, president from 2008 to 2016, last year became the first former or sitting Taiwanese leader to visit China.

On Wednesday, he held his second meeting with Xi, following a landmark summit in Singapore in 2015 when Ma was still Taiwan’s leader, which was the first time Chinese and Taiwanese leaders had met following the end of the civil war in 1949.

Speaking on his return from Beijing, Ma said he hoped young Taiwanese can put aside ideology and realise the historical and cultural links between Taiwan and China.

“More importantly, the Chinese on both sides of the Strait can handle disputes peacefully,” he added.

China considers democratically-governed Taiwan its own territory, and has ramped up military and political pressure to assert those claims. Neither government recognises the other.

Ma, who was accompanied by a group of students to Beijing, said his visit had shown the youth that people on either side of the strait are “descendants of the Yan and Yellow Emperors”, an expression referring to a common ancestor.