APEC the only suitable occasion for hypothetical Ma-Xi meet: minister
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo , The China Post
December 31, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday that if President Ma Ying-jeou were to meet Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, the APEC Leaders' Meeting would be the only suitable occasion.
The minister yesterday attended an interpellation session at the Legislative Yuan and spoke to reporters afterward.
“We're still looking into it. So far it seems that APEC would be the only suitable occasion. We are not at the moment considering any other scenario,” the minister said.
As to when he plans to meet his mainland Chinese counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), Wang said that the specific date hasn't been decided yet and that the Ma-Xi issue will not be discussed in the meeting.
During a recent interview with Yazhou Zhoukan (亞洲週刊), a Hong Kong-based newsweekly, the president said that he would like to meet Xi at the upcoming APEC Leaders' Meeting in Beijing.
The president said that participants attend the annual meeting as “economic leaders” not “heads of states.”
Ma added, however, that if he were to meet Xi in any other context, he would have to meet him as president of the R.O.C., and that any attempt to negotiate a peace agreement would require the nation's authorization through referendum.
The TAO, however, previously said that a cross-strait leaders' meeting “need not” take place on the “platform” of an “international meeting,” leading political commentators to believe that Beijing may have already excluded the possibility of a Ma-Xi meeting at APEC.