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Taiwan president intends to meet with China president during 2014 APEC

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Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou said that he intends to meet with PRC president Xi Jinping during next November's APEC meeting in Beijing in an interview with Hong Kong based Chinese language magazine Asia Weekly.

The meeting would be the first between leaders of Taiwan and mainland China since the two sides split after civil war broke out between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party.

Ma said that both sides would feel less pressure meeting face to face during APEC which takes place as a meeting between the economic entities of Asia rather than as a political summit.

Cross strait relations have been warming since 2008 when Taiwan and the mainland resumed direct postal, shipping, and passenger transportation links which opened direct flights between the two sides.

Two years later, Taiwan and the mainland signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement proposed by Ma which served as a free trade agreement between the two sides.

Taiwan has since allowed individual travel by private mainland citizens to Taiwan as well mainland students to enroll in Taiwan universities.

When asked the difference by Xi and his predecessor Hu Jintao in handling cross strait relations, Ma said that Xi displayed an urgency when facing cross strait affairs and stated that he did not intend to let current political problems be passed on to the next generation.

With only two years left in his last term in office, Ma was asked what legacy he would leave. Ma said that other than the advance Taiwan's position in the international community with ECFA and the U.S.'s and EU's granting of visa free travel for Taiwan citizens, domestic policies such as pension reform and energy policies will prove to be correct in the future.



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