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President still hopes to schedule talk with Xi for APEC summit in Beijing

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-je ou yesterday during the Kuomintang's (KMT) Central Standing Committee meeting reiterated that he still sees the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting this coming November as the best opportunity for a potential meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Ma, who doubles as the KMT chairman, said however, there appear to be some difficulties for Beijing — the host of 2014 APEC — in accepting the proposal. Therefore, there has not been any actual progress in scheduling a meeting.

The 2014 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting is scheduled for Nov. 10-11 in Beijing. Leaders of the 21 APEC members are expected to attend the venue.

As yesterday was the first day of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun's visit to Taiwan, several KMT Central Standing Committee members during the KMT's meeting asked Ma about progress on the potential Ma-Xi meeting.

Ma responded saying that given that the two political entities have such strong ties to one another, it is a good thing for both leaders to have a meeting, noting that, however, there are a lot of things to consider about the timing and the occasion.

TAO's Response

TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) during a press conference in Taiwan yesterday responded to President Ma's remarks, saying that his office has responded several times regarding the potential meeting for the cross-strait leaders.

Ma Xiaoguang also said that the TAO has also communicated and confirmed with the Mainland Affairs Council regarding Zhang's schedule for meeting Taiwanese college students.

The TAO spokesman previously said while in Beijing that the matter of a meeting for the cross-strait leaders is for the two sides of the strait to decide, adding that such a meeting does not need to take place at an international occasion.

KMT Responses to DPP Criticism

KMT spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) yesterday told a press briefing that it is “despicable” for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to blame and stigmatize the ruling party over a demonstration at Novotel Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) yesterday claimed that there were “national security forces” at the hotel who forced open a hotel room door while there were citizens in the room. Lin lashed out at the ruling party, saying that the government is abusing its power toward its people.

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