Former Taiwan President, Ma Ying-jeou to visit China

Former Taiwan president Ma to visit China in landmark trip
Image: Reuters

His office said on Sunday that former President Ma Ying-jeou will visit China this month. it will mark the first trip to China by a prior or present Taiwanese leader since the defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949.

Ma Ying-jeou, a senior member of Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT) opposition party, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore in late 2015, just prior to the election of the current president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen.

According to Ma’s office, he will go to China from March 27 to April 7, making stops in Nanjing, Wuhan, Changsha, Chongqing, and Shanghai.

There was no mention of any meetings with Chinese officials or leaders, including Xi, in the report.

When China and Taiwan eased COVID-related travel restrictions, the KMT, which has traditionally wanted strong ties with China but has vehemently denied being pro-Beijing, increased its interaction with China.

Andrew Hsia, vice chairman of the KMT, met with Wang Huning, the senior Communist Party leader, on a visit to Beijing last month.

Hsia was attacked by Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for traveling to China to “play court to the communists,” for being too close to Beijing, and for attempting to sell up Taiwan.

Given the current state of affairs, the KMT considers it essential to keep open lines of contact with China.

Tsai has frequently requested dialogue, but China has rebuffed her pleas because it considers her a separatist.

She contests China’s claims of sovereignty over Taiwan and asserts that only the Taiwanese people can choose the island’s future.

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