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Singapore says both Beijing and Taipei sought its help to set up Xi-Ma meeting

Singapore said Wednesday that both Beijing and Taipei had asked it to help set up this weekend’s historic summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Taiwanese counterpart Ma Ying-jeou.

The first-ever leaders’ meeting between the two sides since they split at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 will be held Saturday, on the sidelines of a state visit by Xi to Singapore.

xi jinping singapore taiwan

Photo: Apple Daily.

The mainly ethnic Chinese city-state also hosted unofficial China-Taiwan talks in 1993 that helped pave the way for a thaw in relations.

“Singapore was requested by both sides to help facilitate the meeting…” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“As a close and longstanding friend of both Mainland China and Taiwan, we are happy to facilitate and be the venue for their direct dialogue,” the ministry said.

“Singapore has consistently upheld a ‘One China’ policy and supported initiatives that contribute to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, including direct exchanges between the two sides such as the historic Wang-Koo talks held in Singapore in 1993,” it added.

The talks were named after China’s Wang Daohan and Taiwan’s Koo Chen-fu, who led private but government-backed delegations that met in April 1993.

Singapore’s then-prime minister Lee Kuan Yew acted as a channel for messages between the two sides before the talks.

Singapore says both Beijing and Taipei sought its help to set up Xi-Ma meeting