Singapore: China’s President Xi Jinping and his Taiwanese counterpart Ma Ying-jeou kick-started a historic summit on Saturday in Singapore, the first such meeting between Chinese and Taiwanese leaders since the end of a civil war in 1949.
The two leaders shook hands for about a minute and 10 seconds at the start of the talks, which was seen as largely symbolic, at the Shangri-La Hotel.
“Today will be remembered in history,” Xi said in opening remarks before a closed door meeting with Ma. “No force can pull us apart, because we are brothers who are still connected by our flesh even if our bones are broken, and we are one family,” Xi told Ma.
Ma echoed Xi’s sentiment, saying, “At this very juncture, both sides of the Taiwan Strait are loudly declaring our determination for peace and the message of promoting peace in the region.” The talks came ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan, in which the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is favoured to win.