There is no problem that cannot be negotiated, President Xi Jinping told Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou at historic Beijing talks.

In opening statements delivered to the press on Wednesday, both Xi and Ma sought to strike a conciliatory tone despite longstanding cross-Strait tensions.

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President Xi Jinping meets with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in historic talks in Beijing

President Xi Jinping meets with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in historic talks in Beijing

Referring to his guest as “Mr. Ma,” Xi said: “Compatriots on both sides are Chinese. There is no grudge that cannot be resolved. There is no problem that cannot be talked through. There are no forces that can divide us.”

Xi said differences in political systems cannot change the fact that the two sides are one country. He added that “foreign intervention” cannot stop the historical trend of “family reunification,” calling on both sides to seek “peaceful reunification.”

Ma responded with a message of peace, addressing the mainland leader as “General Secretary Xi” — a reference to his title as leader of the ruling Communist Party.

“I sincerely hope that the two sides can respect the values ​​and lifestyles of their people,” Ma said, adding that “the recent tensions between the two sides… have sparked a feeling of insecurity among the public in Taiwan.”

“If war breaks out, it will be unbearable for the Chinese nation and both sides of the world [Taiwan] “The Straits have the wisdom to deal with their differences peacefully,” he added.

Zhu Songling, a specialist on Taiwan affairs at Peking Union University, said the meeting sent “an important message from Beijing showing its determination to resolve the Taiwan issue peacefully.”

Zhu said it came at a “very appropriate” time for both sides to “calmly and rationally convey accurate public opinions” and hold a cross-Strait dialogue, as Taiwan is about to appoint a new president and Washington is also seeking warmer relations with Beijing.

Ma, former leader of TaiwanChina's main opposition party, the pro-Beijing Kuomintang, ended its second and final term as president of the self-governing island in early 2016. But it still has influence among the opposition.
In the run-up to January's presidential election, he led efforts to draft a joint ticket between the Kuomintang and the smaller, pro-Beijing Taiwan People's Party, to challenge the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. But no The deal collapsed In late November amid a dispute over who would head the joint ticket.

Upon arriving in the southern technology hub of Shenzhen on April 1, Ma visited several other mainland cities including Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Xi'an before flying to Beijing on Sunday.

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A day after his arrival last week, Ma also went to Zhongshan to visit the former residence of Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of modern China.

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Beijing's achievements should also be shared by Taiwan, Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying on Wednesday.

The mainland “successfully embarked on the path of Chinese-style modernization and led to bright prospects for national rejuvenation,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying. “This not only fulfilled the scheme drawn up by Sun, but also achieved things far beyond his imagination.”

In his use of the word “plan,” Xi was referring to Sun’s ambition to make China “an independent, democratic, prosperous and strong country,” according to Beijing’s usual interpretation.

Beijing also celebrates Sun, the founding father of the Kuomintang, for his role in overthrowing imperial rule.

Xi also spoke of his high hopes for young people on both sides of the strait. Lama, who took a group of Taiwanese students with him on a cultural exchange trip, just as he did during his visit in March and April last year, said the young people on both sides have “great potential and will definitely make great achievements.” .

Taiwanese youth are welcome to “pursue, build and realize their dreams” on the mainland, Xi said, urging both sides to create better opportunities for them to “grow, excel and succeed.”

“I hope that young people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait will learn from each other, rely on each other, walk together with one heart, pass the baton of history well, and contribute their youthful strength to the realization of national rejuvenation.” he added.

Xi also expressed his condolences to the victims of the deadly earthquake that struck eastern Taiwan last Wednesday.

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Buildings collapsed in eastern Taiwan after the island was hit by the strongest earthquake in 25 years

Buildings collapsed in eastern Taiwan after the island was hit by the strongest earthquake in 25 years

Ma's visit comes amid rising cross-Strait tensions, with just over a month to go before William Lai Ching-ti, of the ruling independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, takes over as Taiwan's president.

Beijing has described Lai, who serves as vice president under the current administration, as a “separatist” who could spark war on the island.

But Beijing also tried to downplay the DPP's victory, as the ruling party won only 40% of the presidential vote and lost its majority in the Legislative Council. Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, the official body responsible for cross-Strait affairs, said the outcome did not represent the views of most Taiwanese.

Rising tensions across the Taiwan Strait in recent years have alarmed regional players and further complicated US-China relations, with Xi repeatedly warning US President Joe Biden that Taiwan represents a “red line” for Beijing and the “most sensitive issue” in its relations with China. . Washington.

Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. The United States, like most countries, does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state, but opposes any attempt to seize it by force and remains committed to supplying it with weapons.

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Ma sent an anti-war message on Monday while visiting a museum in Beijing commemorating the Second Sino-Japanese War. He said that the lessons of history must be learned in order to “resolve conflicts peacefully.”

Cross-Strait relations improved significantly when Ma was Taiwan's president between 2008 and 2016. His meeting with Xi in Singapore came amid rising anti-mainland sentiment in Taiwan ahead of the presidential election in January 2016. That vote was won by Tsai Ing of the Democratic Progressive Party. -Wayne, who will step down in May after two terms.

Issues discussed by Xi and Ma in Singapore included the development of cross-Strait relations and the “1992 Consensus.”

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The 1992 consensus refers to an implicit understanding reached between Communist Party and KMT negotiators that there is only one China, but the two sides may disagree about what that means.

In 2015, Xi described his meeting with Ma as “a very special day, a new chapter in history.”

“No matter whether it is rain or storm, no force can separate us. We are brothers, and I believe both sides have the ability and wisdom to solve our problems.”

Ma said, “The meeting was in a very friendly atmosphere. It was very positive.”

He also spoke of his impression of Xi as “very practical, flexible and straightforward when discussing issues.”

A cross-Strait hotline was established following their summit as a confidence-building and tension-easing measure.

However, relations soured after Tsai took power and refused to accept the 1992 consensus, and Beijing has since suspended official exchanges with Taipei.

Beijing Union's Zhu said the two sides' pursuit of a peaceful solution was clearly evident in the conciliatory tone adopted by Xi and Ma.

“Since Ma is not in office, many of his ideas may not be implemented concretely, but in general this is [meeting] “It's still very important.”

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