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Ex-President Ma asserts cross-strait peace in meeting with TAO chief

04/01/2024 11:19 PM
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Former President Ma Ying-jeou (left) and Taiwan Affairs Office Director Song Tao in Shenzhen, China, on Monday. Photo courtesy of Ma's office April 1, 2024
Former President Ma Ying-jeou (left) and Taiwan Affairs Office Director Song Tao in Shenzhen, China, on Monday. Photo courtesy of Ma's office April 1, 2024

Taipei, April 1 (CNA) Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) asserted the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait during a meeting with China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Song Tao (宋濤) in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province on Monday.

Leading a 20-member delegation of college students, Ma arrived in Shenzhen earlier in the day for a visit from April 1-11, that will also take him to Shaanxi Province and Beijing to attend events with Chinese students, go on company tours and visit Chinese historical or cultural monuments

Noting that he truly felt that "blood is thicker than water" between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait during his visit to mainland China last year, Ma stressed that only a peaceful and stable relationship between the two sides can guarantee benefits for both sides while serving the "maximum interests of the Chinese nation."

He said that the two elements also are of a huge importance to the whole world at a time when wars are raging in Europe and the Middle East.

According to Ma, maintaining a peaceful development in cross-strait relations is the mainstream opinion in Taiwan, citing the outcome of the Jan. 13 presidential election as proof of the standpoint.

A public opinion survey conducted prior to his visit to mainland China last year was also indicative, given that 77 percent of Taiwan's people interviewed supported frequent exchanges between the two sides, he said.

For his part, Song relayed greetings from Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to Ma, and praised Ma's efforts in promoting interactions between the youths on the two sides.

Song called for more frequent cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, while urging joint endeavors to rejuvenate the Chinese nation and staunchly oppose Taiwan independence and forces of foreign interference.

Earlier on Monday, Ma visited drone maker DJI Technology Co. and tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., both headquartered in Shenzhen.

It was reported that Ma could meet Xi in Beijing on April 8, which will be their second encounter after the unprecedented meeting between the two in Singapore in 2015. That visit was the first time leaders from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait met since the end of Chinese Civil War in 1949.

(By Flor Wang, Wang Cheng-chung and Lu Chia-jung)

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