Saturday, November 7, 2015

Xi Jinping, Ma Ying-jeou - XI-MA Starts Historic Summit in Singapore Today 7th November 2015.

Photo credit: The Straits Times
SINGAPORE - A minute-long handshake between China's President Xi Jinping and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou kicked off the landmark summit between the two leaders at the Shangri-La Hotel on Saturday (Nov 7).

After touching down at about 10.40am, Mr Ma headed to the Four Seasons Hotel where he was greeted by members of the Taiwan Business Association, who had gathered with a banner, as well as the media.

The historic Xi-Ma meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel, a stone's throw away from the Four Seasons, starts at 3pm on Saturday. Mr Ma's whirlwind schedule will see him hold a press conference at 5pm, have dinner with Mr Xi at 6pm, and jet off at 8pm.
The summit is the first meeting between the leaders of the two sides since their 1949 split. Little has been made known of the expected talking points, although Mr Ma has said that he will discuss with Mr Xi the problems that Taiwan faces in trying to participate in international organisations.

Mr Ma's side had earlier said that the summit's goal was to "secure cross-strait peace". It added, however, that there would be no agreement signed or joint statement.
Media, especially from Taiwan, have been staking out the lobby at Shangri-La since Friday.

Mr Xi is on a two-day state visit to Singapore, his first to the Republic as president, to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. On Friday (Nov 6), he met President Tony Tan Keng Yam and led a toast at an Istana state banquet.

On Saturday, he opened the China Cultural Centre in Queen Street and delivered the Singapore Lecture at the National University of Singapore.

He later met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana.

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