Despite the little substance to the summit, President Ma’s reference to ‘one China’ has sparked severe criticism back in Taiwan
For the first time since the creation of the People’s Republic of China after the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the leaders of Taiwan and China met in Singapore on November 7, in a summit that has been widely described as “historic.” Historic it certainly was, and this was the big news internationally on Saturday. But as expected, photo ops and a long handshake aside, the landmark meeting yielded precious little substance and is unlikely to have much of an impact on future relations between Taiwan and China, as that will be decided elsewhere.
Media worldwide, which normally fail to pay attention to Taiwan, took a sudden interest in the place following the sudden announcement, late on November 3, that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would hold a meeting in a third country on November 7. No sooner had the news spread than talking heads began talking of a “game changer,” of a new phase in relations across the Taiwan Strait, which until a few years ago had been regarded as a dangerous flashpoint.
My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.