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Cross-strait ties to remain stable after leadership change

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand

Cross-strait ties to remain stable after China's leadership change: President Ma

President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that whoever becomes the next leader of China will not want to see current cross-strait ties, which he described as the most stable in six decades, undergo significant changes.

"Based on what has happened over the past four years between us and China, current relations are mutually beneficial. So we do not expect cross-Taiwan Strait ties to have significant changes due to the leadership change," Ma said in an interview with Reuters.

Xi Jinping is expected to be confirmed as Hu Jintao's successor later this year at the Communist Party's 18th National Party Congress, and Ma said Xi has a deep understanding of Taiwan because of his previous experience in Fujian province, which lies across the Taiwan Strait from the island.

Ma said he was hopeful the two sides could continue stable development of their relations after the leadership change.

He also said a visit to mainland China on his part was not as important as whether the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait could continue to develop bilateral relations in a peaceful environment.

The administration has worked to bring cross-strait ties to an unprecedented level of peace over the past four years, but this does not mean that all cross-strait issues have been resolved, Ma said.

That's why, he explained, he said in his inaugural speech on May 20 that both sides should "seek common ground while respecting differences," and "establish a consensus regarding mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern."

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