An unprecedented interaction between China and Taiwan. A former Taiwanese president will visit China. The trip will mark the first time a current or former Taiwanese leader has visited its communist neighbor since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Ma Ying-jeou served as president before the current leader Tsai Ing-wen. As a senior member of the island’s opposition party, Ma is still influential and his visit to China is getting a lot of attention.
A spokesman for Ma called it an effort to ease tensions between the self-ruled island and mainland China—a main goal of his party. Though it’s been criticized by Taiwan’s ruling Party as being pro-Beijing.
Ma plans to visit China for 12 days beginning March 27. No current Taiwanese officials are expected to join the delegation. Ma will visit five cities, but Beijing is not on the list.
His office declined to say if he would meet any Chinese officials or regime leaders, including Xi Jinping, but people familiar with the matter told local media that the heads of the cities and provinces he will be visiting plan to meet with him. They’re not mayors or governors, but rather Communist Party Secretaries.