Former Taiwan president says China, Taiwan people from the same nation

Beijing, Mar 28 (EFE).- Taiwan’s former President Ma Ying-jeou said Tuesday that people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to the same China, Chinese state-owned Xinhua agency reported.

Ma, the first Taiwanese former president to visit China, made the statement during a visit to the mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen – one of the major figures of the Xinhai Revolution (1911) – in Nanjing (east).

The revolution ended centuries of dynastic rule in China and led to the creation of the Republic of China.

Ma, former chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, founded by Sun Yat-sen, while paying respects at his tomb, spoke about his hope for a shared future, where Taiwan and China work together for peace and avoid war.

Moreover, he underlined that “unification” was what all the Chinese people desired, and that 1992 Consensus – where both sides recognized that they were a part of the same China but with differing interpretations of what it meant – should be the base for peace.

Ma highlighted the good hospitality he received since his arrival in China on Monday and that he would pass on this goodwill to the Taiwanese people upon his return to the island.

This was the first visit by a former Taiwanese president to China since KMT nationalists retreated to the island in 1949 after losing China’s civil war against the communists.

China and Taiwan experienced significant rapprochement during the presidency of Ma Ying-jeou between 2008 and 2016, to the point that he held a historic meeting in Singapore with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in 2015.

It was the first such meeting during the more than 60 years of unilateral separation of the island from the Chinese mainland.

In 2016, the Democratic Progressive Party won the Taiwanese elections, and since then tensions between Beijing and Taipei have increased.

The situation intensified last year with the visit to the island of the then-US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to which the Chinese authorities had lodged strong protests.

Taiwan has been a self-governing territory enjoying de facto independence since 1949, while Beijing continues to consider it a rebel province and has not ruled out exercising force for reunification. EFE


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