There Is No Grudge That Cannot Be Resolved: China’s Xi Jinping to Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou

CONFLICT RESOLUTION - MEDIATION, 15 Apr 2024

Diego Ramos | ScheerPost - TRANSCEND Media Service

Ma Ying-jeou and Xi Jinping meeting. Screenshot from YouTube

“[There is] [n]o problem that cannot be talked through. And there are no forces that can separate us,” Xi Jinping said in momentous Beijing meeting.

10 Apr 2024 – In a historic meeting marking mainland China’s first reception of a former or serving Taiwanese president, President Xi Jinping and former Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou engaged in a dialogue of peace and unity in Beijing today.

Amidst heightened tensions between China and Taiwan, mentions of war are commonplace but according to Ma, “If there’s war, it would be unbearable to the Chinese nation, and the two sides of the [Taiwan] strait have the wisdom to handle their disputes peacefully.”

This echoes Xi’s assertion that the two governments can converse and resolve issues: “Compatriots on the two sides are both Chinese. There is no grudge that cannot be resolved. No problem that cannot be talked through. And there are no forces that can separate us.”

Xi, alluding to reunification, also made reference to “foreign interference,” which, according to him, could not get in the way of a “family reunion.”

The meeting comes a month before William Lai Ching-te, current Taiwanese vice president and president-elect, is set to step into office. Despite being part of the independence-favoring Democratic Progressive Party, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that Beijing does not see significance in the party’s electoral victory.

Zhu Songling, a Taiwan affairs specialist at Beijing Union University, told SCMP that the talks came at a favorable time, citing president-elect Lai’s approaching inauguration. Songling also said Ma’s reception in Beijing signaled the Chinese government’s willingness and resolve to peacefully settle the cross-strait issues.

“Since Ma is not in office, many of his ideas may not be implemented in concrete terms, but in general this [meeting] is still of great significance,” Zhu said, mentioning Ma’s continued influence in the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) party.

Towards the end of Ma’s “journey of peace,” another KMT leader, former mayor of Taipei Hau Lung-bin, also plans to visit mainland China, with the possibility of meeting with Xi as well.

Hau is set to visit Zhengzhou and take part in the annual cultural spectacle that pays tribute to the Yellow Emperor. The tribute honors Chinese ancestry and heritage and Hau said his visit “emphasise[s] the fact that the people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same root, the same origin, and the same historical and cultural backgrounds, which should go beyond political differences.”

“It would be unreasonable for the cross-strait relations to end up in a military crisis or dangerous war caused by political manipulation,” Hau also mentioned.

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Diego Ramos, ScheerPost managing editor and New York bureau chief, is a journalist from Queens, NY. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has previously worked at BuzzFeed News and was managing editor of Annenberg News at USC. He’s covered and researched myriad topics including war, politics, psychedelic research and sports. 

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