While Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping might not acknowledge each other’s titles, both understand the importance of the other’s roles in reducing worries in a region fraught with tension.
Many are acknowledging that the two are meeting not just for history and potential easing of strained relations, but their own country’s public relations agendas. Sean King, Park Strategies’ senior vice president in New York, has stated, “Ma will do it to secure his legacy as the man who brought about détente between the two sides. Xi will do it to lock in whatever he can before Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party perhaps comes back into power in 2016.”
One thing is for sure; neither party can be seen as the one unwilling to cooperate. The two sides are currently searching out sites to meet in a mutually approved location. But with Ma announcing he doesn’t wish to discuss politics and Xi stating political talks should be examined, it’ll be interesting to see how exactly tension can be alleviated.
The infamous vanishing Malaysian plane, which has now been missing for over two weeks, has brought tensions in Asia to an all-time high. China has already heavily criticized Malaysia’s handling of the investigation along with Vietnam, who suspected the Malaysian government was holding back pertinent information. These doubts have raised resentment and reservations in an already apprehensive environment. Even as the number of countries assisting in the search has grown from 14 to 25, it has created tensions throughout the regions and additional convolution to the effort. While the China-Taiwan meets could be a step in the right direction, it could be a long haul to ease the worries of their nations.