Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou Says Meeting with Chinese President Would Be ‘Premature’
Taiwan, seen as a wayward province by the government in Beijing, spent only a few of the past 115 years under the control of a government in China. It is currently governed by Ma’s Nationalist Party, which fled China to Taiwan after the Communist takeover in 1949.
Although the United States and most other nations have not formally recognized Taiwan, the island has developed into an economic powerhouse and bustling two-party democracy under the protection of U.S.-supplied arms and an implicit U.S. guarantee to help if the island is attacked.
Ma said that while he did not “exclude the possibility” of meeting the head of China’s government in the future, the focus should be on maintaining the progress being made on trade, travel and government-to-government cooperation. The two sides, he said, have reached a workable “status quo,” with China setting aside vocal demands for unification, Taiwan dampening assertions of independence and each looking to keep the peace.