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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightChina, Taiwan leaders...

China, Taiwan leaders' historical meet in Singapore

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China, Taiwan leaders historical meet in Singapore
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Singapore: China's President Xi Jinping and his Taiwanese counterpart Ma Ying-jeou kick-started a historic summit on Saturday in Singapore, the first meeting between Chinese and Taiwanese leaders in 66 years.

"Today will be remembered in history," Xi said, adding that the meeting has opened up "a historic page" in cross-Strait relations, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two leaders shook hands for about a minute and 10 seconds at the start of the talks, which was seen as largely symbolic. Their meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel was the first between Chinese and Taiwanese leaders since the end of a civil war in 1949.

Xi and Ma held an hour-long closed-door meeting. Xi referred to Ma as "brother" and "comrade".

After the meeting, Zhang Zhijun, China's Taiwan affairs chief, told a press conference here that Xi called for adhering to the common political consensus of the two sides, referring to the 1992 Consensus reached between the two sides that endorses the one-China principle.

"The peaceful development of cross-Strait relations over the past seven years lies in adhering to the 1992 Consensus and opposing Taiwan independence," Xi was quoted as saying by Zhang.

The Chinese president also called for for boosting well-being of people on the two sides, and promoting cultural and education cooperation.

President Ma raised five points for the advancement of cross-strait ties; the 1992 Consensus will be the foundation of cross-strait relations; lower animosity across the strait; expand cross-strait dialogue, and work towards win-win conclusions; start a cross-strait hotline for emergent issues involving both parties; and Work together to build both Chinese sides for future generations, Channel News Asia reported.

He added that in the past seven years the two sides have signed a total of 23 agreements, with over 40,000 students exchanging across the Strait, over 8 million cross-Strait tourists annually and an annual trade volume worth over $170 billion.

Singapore, which is hosting President Xi on a two-day state visit has said it was "happy to facilitate" the meeting and to provide the venue for the talks.

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