Singapore, Nov. 7 (CNA) Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) expressed hope in a historic meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of Taiwan on Saturday that the two sides will uphold the "1992 consensus."
In his opening remarks in public at the start of the meeting, Xi also hoped that the two sides will move to solidify their common political ground, walk on the path toward peaceful development and keep cross-strait relations on the right path.
"We are sitting here today to prevent a historic tragedy from happening again and to keep the fruits of peaceful development between the two sides from being lost," Xi said.
The meeting is the first ever between leaders of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China, which was founded in 1949 after the Communists defeated the Nationalists in China's civil war.
The Nationalists moved the seat of government to Taiwan, which has blossomed into a self-governing democracy.
Ma and Xi met at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. Before making their opening remarks, the two political leaders shook hands for more than a minute.
Both leaders talked about upholding the 1992 consensus, a tacit understanding reached in 1992 in Hong Kong between Taipei and Beijing on how to characterize relations between the two sides -- that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret what "one China" means.
The Chinese side has rarely acknowledged the latter half of the formula, and Taiwan's main opposition party likely to take power again in 2016 rejects the idea that the formula ever existed.
In his remarks, Xi said the separation of the two sides "ingrained pain and sorrow in the bones and hearts of numerous families," but that thanks to the lasting brotherhood between people of the two sides, the closed gates of the two sides have finally been opened.
Noting that cross-strait relations moved on the path of peaceful development in 2008, he extended his heartfelt thanks to those who have contributed to the trend, Xi said. He described the people on the two sides as "a family with blood thicker than water."
"We should tell the world with actions that the Chinese people on two sides are totally capable of resolving their own problems, and making greater contributions to global and regional peace, stability, development and prosperity," he said.
(By Huang Tzu-chiang and Elizabeth Hsu) ENDITEM/ls
Update: ●Ma, Xi reach consensus on upholding '1992 consensus': official
Post-meeting press conferences:●Ma: Taiwan to solidify '1992 consensus' to pursue cross-strait peace●President Ma finds Xi 'pragmatic, flexible and frank'
Related: ●Ma puts forth five-point proposal in meeting with Xi