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Business groups perceive Ma-Xi meeting positive for cross-strait ties

2015/11/04 13:33:26

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) Several business groups said Wednesday that the upcoming meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) is a positive development in cross-strait relations.

These business groups said that they have expressed hopes that the Ma-Xi meeting, which is expected to pave the path for warming ties across the Taiwan Strait, will give Taiwan more room in participation in trade blocs in the world stage. They said that the meeting could signal further peaceful development between Taiwan and China.

The Presidential Office in Taiwan issued a statement Tuesday that Ma and Xi will meet with each other in Singapore on Saturday. The Presidential Office said that the upcoming meeting aims to strengthen peace between Taiwan and China and maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

However, the Presidential Office said that Ma and Xi will not sign any agreement or issue any joint declaration after the meeting. President Ma has scheduled an international news conference for Thursday to report to the people of Taiwan about his meeting with Xi.

Tsai Lien-sheng(蔡練生), secretary-general of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (全國工業總會), said that although there is no information about what Ma and Xi will discuss in the meeting, he is sure that the event will facilitate the pace of peaceful development between Taiwan and China.

Tsai said amid such a favorable atmosphere, Taiwan is expected to be given more leeway to join international trade blocs in the future. Taiwan is determined to push for its bids to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to improve its exports.

Tsai said if Taiwan fails to join the TPP and the RCEP, its industrial sector is expected to be marginalized and the country's economy is likely to feel the pinch of the impact resulting from the exclusion from these important trade blocs.

On the back of the upcoming Ma-Xi meeting, cross-strait ties will be further strengthened and under such positive circumstances, China could drop its opposition against Taiwan's participation in international organizations and even lend support for Taiwan's presence in them.

Tsai said that in event of Taiwan's admission into the TPP and RCEP, the country will have a greater chance of participating in related international organizations and sign more bilateral free trade agreements with its trading partners.

For his part, Taipei Chamber of Commerce (台北市商業會) Director-General Wang Ying-chieh (王應傑) said that the upcoming Ma-Xi meeting showed China has recognized the status quo in which Taipei and Beijing have their own governing bodies.

Wang said that Taiwan will no doubt benefit from such a positive development and will have more opportunities to participate in international organizations. Wang said that Ma is expected to obtain his status in history due to the meeting with Xi.

Holding a similar upbeat attitude, Chang Chih-yuan (張致遠), secretary general of the Allied Association for Science Park Industries (台灣科學工業園區科學工業同業公會), said that he is delighted by the announcement of the Ma-Xi meeting and hopes that Ma will bring back good news after meeting with Xi.

(By Lin Meng-ju, Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)
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