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June 22, 2017

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Scholars mixed about possibility of Ma-Xi meeting in Singapore

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Speculations on the possibility of a cross-strait summit in Singapore have received mixed reactions from scholars from the Southeast Asian city-state, a report said yesterday.

Tan Khee Giap, a scholar at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, said he would be happy to see his country host a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, according to the Central News Agency reporting from the city-state.

Singapore is neither too big nor too small, and there is always room there for the two leaders to meet, Tan was cited as saying.

Ma has openly expressed a wish to meet with Xi at the upcoming APEC summit in China this year. While it looks very unlikely for them to meet at APEC, speculations have emerged that the meeting could take place in Singapore.

Singapore hosted a ground-breaking meeting between envoys from Taipei and Beijing in 1994.

Li Mingjiang, a scholar at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, agrees that the chance of the two leaders meeting at APEC this year is slim, the CNA said.

But neither does he see a bigger chance of the pair meeting in a third country, the CNA reported.

Li explained that the 1994 meeting was a semi-official one, but a Ma-Xi meet would carry much more political significance. Beijing would not want it to be misread because of its choice of venue in a third country, he said.

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