President Ma finds Xi 'pragmatic, flexible and frank' - Focus Taiwan

President Ma finds Xi 'pragmatic, flexible and frank'

Singapore, Nov. 7 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said Saturday that he found Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) to be "pragmatic, flexible and frank" during closed-door talks and hoped the attitude would be reflected in future cross-Taiwan Strait dealings.

Ma said at a news conference after the historic meeting that the two sides exchanged views on the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and solidifying the peaceful and prosperous status quo.

Describing the talks as "cordial" and "positive," Ma said that both talked about consolidating the 1992 consensus" and maintaining the cross-strait status quo.

He told Xi that both sides reached a consensus in November 1992 in which both sides insist on the "one China" principle, but can freely interpret its meaning due to different perceptions about its content.

"We have stated that this (the 1992 consensus, with different interpretations) does not involve two Chinas, one China and one Taiwan, or Taiwan independence, because this is not allowed under the Republic of China Constitution," Ma said.

He stressed that sustainable peace and prosperity is the common goal for cross-strait relations.

When asked about his feelings when he first shook hands with Xi at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, Ma said he felt "good" during the initial encounter and kidded that "we both shook hard."

The meeting marked the first between the leaders of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China, which was founded in 1949 after the Communists won the Chinese civil war.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Lilian Wu)enditem/ls

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