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Xi shakes hands with Ma at historic meeting

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou on November 7. Photo: Zhang Han/

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou that the two sides are a family whose blood is thicker than water during the first meeting between the two sides on Saturday since China's civil war ended in 1949.

The two leaders shook hands and smiled in front of a mass of journalists for more than a minute at a Singapore hotel, with Xi wearing a red tie, the color of the Communist Party, and Ma a blue one, the color of his Nationalist Party, in front of a backdrop of yellow — a traditional color of Chinese emperors.

Though no concrete agreement resulted, both hailed the meeting as a sign of a new stability in relations. China's Nationalists, also known as the Kuomintang (KMT), retreated to Taiwan after losing the civil war to the Communists.

"No force can pull us apart because we are brothers who are still connected by our flesh even if our bones are broken," Xi said.

"The development of cross-strait relations over the past 66 years show that no matter what kind of winds and rains are experienced by compatriots on the two sides, no matter how long divisions last, there is no power that can separate us," Xi said.

Zhang Zhijun, the head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said Xi told Ma that the biggest threat to the peaceful development of relations was pro-independence forces.

Ma told Xi that the 1992 Consensus with the one-China principle is the common political foundation for advancing the peaceful development of the cross-Strait ties.
"We should consolidate the 1992 Consensus, and maintain the peaceful status quo," Ma said in one of his five-point proposals.
Ma suggested that the two sides reduce hostility and resolve disputes in peaceful means, while expanding cross-Strait exchanges in a bid to achieve win-win outcomes.

Heads of Taiwan's mainland affairs body and the Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs organ should set up a hotline to deal with emergency and important issues, Ma suggested.
Ma added that the two sides should cooperate and be committed to the revival of the Chinese nation, as the peoples of the both sides across the Strait are all Chinese descendants.

Xi called on the two sides across the Taiwan Strait to prevent historical tragedy from repeating itself in a historic meeting between leaders across the Strait in Singapore Saturday.
"At present, we are at the crossroads for choosing the direction and path for future development in cross-Strait relations," Xi told Ma Ying-jeou.
"We are sitting together today to prevent the historical tragedy from repeating itself, prevent the fruits from peaceful development of cross-Strait ties from being lost again, enable compatriots across the Strait to continue to create a peaceful life, and enable our next generations to share a bright future," Xi said.


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