Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Embarks On Peace Mission To China

Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Embarks On Peace Mission To China
Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Embarks On Peace Mission To China

TAIPEI, Taiwan: Former President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, embarked on a visit to China on Monday, describing it as a “journey of peace” aimed at easing cross-strait tensions.

China considers Taiwan as part of its territory and has maintained a stance of potential military action to assert control over the island.

Ma, affiliated with the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party, served as Taiwan’s president from 2008 to 2016, overseeing a period of improved relations between Taiwan and China. His tenure saw significant advancements, including a historic summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore in 2015. However, tensions escalated after Ma’s successor, Tsai Ing-wen, assumed office and rejected Beijing’s claims to Taiwan.

Addressing reporters before his departure, Ma emphasized the importance of promoting peace and friendship. He expressed the hope that his visit would convey the Taiwanese people’s desire for peace aiming to alleviate the current tense situation.

Ma outlined his objectives for the trip, including fostering youth exchanges and building goodwill to reduce hospitality between Taiwan and China. However, his visit faced opposition, with demonstrators urging him not to compromise Taiwan’s interests.

Last year, Ma made history by becoming the first Taiwanese leader to visit China in over seven decades, aiming to improve cross-strait relations. Reflecting on that visit, Ma highlighted the potential of building friendship between young people from both sides to address cross-strait confrontations.

During his current visit, Ma is leading a delegation of Taiwanese students and plans to visit tech companies, universities, and historical sites in Guangdong and Shaanxi provinces before reaching Beijing. Regarding speculations about a potential meeting with President Xi Jinping, Ma’s spokesperson indicated that such arrangements would depend on the mainland’s side.

Ma’s visit to China underscores ongoing efforts to engage in dialogue and diplomacy despite enduring tensions between Taiwan and China. As both sides navigate complex political dynamics, initiatives aimed at fostering peace and understanding remain crucial for regional stability.

The article is in Dutch

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