Milestone or election ploy? Mixed reaction to historic meeting of China and Taiwan presidents

  • 9 years ago
Beijing hailed as a "milestone" this weekend's historic first meeting between Chinese and Taiwanese leaders since the civil war ended in 1949, but it was branded a cynical election ploy by Taiwan's main opposition party.
Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, is expected to meet his Taiwanese counterpart, Ma Ying-jeou, in Singapore on Saturday, both governments announced , two months before the island votes in presidential and legislature elections.
Mr Ma will step down as he has reached the maximum two-term limit, but his pro-Beijing Nationalist Party - known as the Kuomintang - is trailing in the polls behind the opposition Democratic Progressive Party , which traditionally favours independence.
"How could anyone not think that this is a political operation to influence the election."
However, Zhang Zhijun, the Beijing official responsible for Taiwanese affairs, described the meeting as a "milestone" event, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported, adding that it followed "hardships and twists since 1949".