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Former Taiwan president meets Xi Jinping, says 'Chinese on both sides can handle disputes peacefully'

Former Taiwan president meets Xi Jinping, says 'Chinese on both sides can handle disputes peacefully'


Ancient Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou expressed optimism on Thursday, suggesting that Taiwan and China could resolve their differences amicably.

What happened: Ma, who served as president of Taiwan from 2008 to 2016, made the comments after a meeting with the Chinese president. Xi Jinping. It was Mas's second meeting with Xi, following a major summit in Singapore in 2015, which marked the first time Chinese and Taiwanese leaders had met since the end of the civil war in 1949, Reuters reported.

Ma, the first former or serving Taiwanese leader to visit China last year, highlighted the shared culture and history of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. He also urged young Taiwanese to recognize the historical and cultural ties between Taiwan and China.

More importantly, Chinese people on both sides of the Strait can handle disputes peacefully, he added.

China has increased military and political pressure to assert its claims to sovereignty over Taiwan. Mas's visit to Beijing, accompanied by a group of students, was aimed at showing young people that people on both sides of the strait are descendants of the Yan and Yellow emperors, a reference to a common ancestor.

Ma, a senior official in Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), advocates close ties with China and dialogue but firmly denies being pro-Beijing.

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Why is this important: Mas's comments come amid escalating tensions between Taiwan and China. While China insists that Taiwan is part of its territory, the Taiwanese government rejects Beijing's sovereignty claims, saying only the Taiwanese people can determine its future.

In the past month, Chinese tactics to pressure Taiwan have intensified, including the loss of a diplomatic ally and increased military patrols seen as a response to the vice president's election.Lai Ching-teas the next president of Taiwan.

China has also increased its military spending, with a 7.2% increase for 2024 announced at annual parliamentary meetings in Beijing last month. This increase in the defense budget aligns with the country's efforts to deter what it sees as separatist activities from Taiwan.

At the same time, the Chinese president told the former president of Taiwan that external deductions could not prevent cross-Strait family reunification and that there was no issue that could not be discussed.

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