Xi-Ma meeting to have far-reaching impact on cross-Straits relations

The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou will have a far-reaching effect on political trust, economic cooperation and cultural exchange between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, said an expert on Saturday.

"We should notice that the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou is based on the 1992 Consensus. The meeting will promote the normalization of the cross-Strait communication," Ni Yongjie, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Taiwan Studies, said in an interview with the Sino-US.com.

The 1992 Consensus was reached at a meeting in November 1992 held in Hong Kong by the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) of the Chinese mainland, headed by Wang Daohan, and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of Taiwan, led by Koo Chen-fu. According to the consensus, both sides of the Taiwan Straits agree that there is only one China.

In fact, the Chinese mainland put forward the proposal of holding a meeting with Taiwan's top leader in 1995, said Ni, who hailed the Xi-Ma meeting as the "stabilizer of the world peace."

"The Xi-Ma meeting indicates that the cross-Straits relationship is at a critical juncture, when the two sides have to decide whether to follow the path of peaceful development," said Ni, stressing that the summit will help clear off the obstacles in the cross-Straits relations, such as the difficulties in reaching a cross-Straits trade agreement and setting up administrative offices on each other's soil.

There are reports saying that the Cross-Straits Service Trade Pact (CSSTP) signed by the two sides more than two years ago has not got "legislative approval" in Taiwan because of the objection from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The DPP is blamed by people from the island's tourism industry for depriving them of the right to do business with the Chinese mainland.

Since the announcement of the Xi-Ma meeting, Taiwanese businessmen doing business in the Chinese mainland have expressed support for the decision, which Ni said is "a good news for businessmen from Taiwan."

"The Xi-Ma meeting will help Taiwanese people share the fruits of the Chinese mainland's development, and will bring new opportunities for trade and investment between the two sides," noted Ni.

In China's eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, which attracts the largest number of Taiwanese businessmen and investors, a series of favorable policies, such as the launch of a direct flight, have been adopted to promote economic exchange between the province and Taiwan, said Ni, predicting that more friendly policies will be rolled out, including the highly anticipated policy to help young people from Taiwan start a business in the Chinese mainland.

The Xi-Ma meeting will also strengthen cultural exchanges and brotherhood between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, said Ni. "The meeting will further help promote Chinese culture in Taiwan, which will generate new business opportunities. I think both sides would like to see it happen," said Ni

Ni disagreed with the views that the Xi-Ma meeting will affect the "election" in Taiwan, which will be held two months later. "The meeting might affect some voters, but I think they will vote for the party which will follow the trend of peaceful development and will do something in improving people's livelihood," noted Ni.

(This article is translated and edited by Ding Yi.)

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