The Washington Insider Nelson Report on the 馬習團. Doug Paal, who is quoted below, has long served the KMT. Richard Bush is a former AIT head and a longtime US Taiwan expert.
First-up, we can confirm the Nikkei report of plans for the first head of states meeting between the leaders of China and Taiwan since the KMT lost the civil war in 1949...obviously we need some perspective on this, so pls don't be shy.
We'd see it as an indicator of Beijing's rising angst about the likely return of the DPP to the presidency in January.
But Loyal Readers pulsed see it more as a KMT-move. We're going first with a senior DPP observer who must remain anonymous, as we suspect this reflects the atmosphere in Taipei:
Chris, It's true. The boy president needs to fulfill his father's dying wish to see China unified...at least he call tell his old man that he tried. His disloyal subjects, however, will be raising lots of hell. Look for major demos in Taiwan through the rest of the week.
Obama Administration reaction, in public, has been the obvious...anything that can help keep stability in the Taiwan Strait is a good thing:
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said we welcome the actions that both sides of the strait of taken to lower tensions. But we need to wait to see the actual results of this meeting. Our one China policy has not changed.
State Dept. spokesman Elizabeth Trudeau:
Welcomes the actions taken in recent years to lower tensions. the cross-strait interactions should proceed at a pace and scope acceptable to the people on both sides.
One immediate concern...has this violated the long-standing "no surprises please" US-Taiwan conversation, shading back to the often contentious Chen Administration.
More on that, below.
Loyal Readers are a bit more open about their concerns...
Richard Bush: Hope the meeting will proceed in a manner completely acceptable to both sides, and will help have a stabilizing effect on cross-strait relations. Like everyone else, he feels very surprised to see the news. In order to evaluate the importance of the meeting, like "the people of the ROC" (他和中華民國民眾一樣) he urgently wants to understand the direction and details of the discussion.
Doug Paal: The Ma-Xi meeting has a great strategic importance to the U.S. This also shows the importance of some degree of recognition of the one China principle for maintaining cross-strait stability.
Taiwan's Ma to Meet China's Xi Saturday in Singapore -Nikkei
Date: November 03, 2015
TAIPEI -- Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou will meet with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Singapore this Saturday, the presidential spokesman said in a statement issued Tuesday, The Nikkei reported in its Wednesday morning edition.
This would be the first summit between the leaders of Taiwan and China since their split in 1949.
Ma and Xi will discuss cross-strait peace and stability but not sign any agreement, said presidential spokesman Charles Chen. Premier Mao Chi-kuo and Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan are expected to brief lawmakers on the meeting Tuesday, Chen said.
Ma has been forging closer cross-strait ties since taking office in 2008. But over the past year, the majority of Taiwanese voters have come to reject his efforts in the belief that they have only hurt Taiwan's independence and economy.
Ma's Nationalist Party, or commonly known as the Kuomintang, is widely expected to lose the presidential election to the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in January.
MORE DETAILED DPP REACTION....from an observer who must be protected:
The "green" Liberty Times broke the story and then all hell broke loose. The Ma folks were apparently trying to keep it all quiet and had not told the Legislative Speaker Wang Jinping. Forced to acknowledge the trip thanks to the Liberty Times story, the Presidential Office confirmed the trip.
A key question you should pulse people over: did the Ma Administration tell the US Administration or was this the surprise of surprises?
Another key question: what "title" does Ma bear when he meets with Xi? What title will Xi be wearing? From the DPP's point of view, anything less than "president" for Ma would be demeaning. Ma is no longer KMT Chair, so he cannot claim that title. "Mister" will probably be the term of art, but that's pretty wimpy for a president.
Finally, what will the "deal" be? DPP fears - there will be an announcement that unless the 92 consensus is agreed to by Tsai (or some "one China" formula) then disaster (at least economic) will be in the offing for the people of Taiwan. Clearly Ma wants this to be his legacy gift to his old man - one China uber alles.
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