Former Taiwan president Ma to visit China in landmark trip

  • Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou will visit China in Mar 23, his office said on 19 Mar, the first time a former or current Taiwanese leader has visited since the defeated Republic of China government fled to the island in 1949.
  • The trip will be at a time of heightened tensions between Beijing and Taipei as China keeps up its military and political pressure to try and get democratically-elected Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty.
  • Ma’s office said that he would visit China from 27 Mar to Apr 7 and go to the cities of Nanjing, Wuhan, Changsha, Chongqing and Shanghai.
  • He will meet students and visit sites connected to World War II and China’s conflict with Japan as well as those related to the 1911 revolution, which overthrew the last Chinese emperor and ushered in the Republic of China, his office said.
  • It did not say if he would meet any Chinese officials or leaders, including whether he would meet Xi.
  • Ma, who remains a senior member of Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT) opposition party, held a landmark meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore in late 2015, shortly before current Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was elected.

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