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President Ma Ying-jeou will meet Chinese President Xi Jin-ping in Singapore as cross-strait leaders on November 7. As soon as the news broke out, opposition parties start to denounce Ma’s decision, especially third-force parties, including New Power Party (NPP), the coalition of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Green Party, and Free Taiwan Party (FTP). They gathered in front of the Legislative Yuan protesting against the meeting of Ma and Xi, calling for the respect of the Taiwanese people.

Apple Daily reports that NPP Chairman Huang Guo-chang thinks that Ma has already damaged Taiwan’s democracy, saying that the meeting is a violent attempt to betray the sovereignty of Taiwan. He appeals for the legislators to start the procedure to remove Ma from office, stressing that the parliament has always been merely a rubber stamp for Ma.

Green Party and SDP coalition leader Fan Yun says, the summit is the biggest political crisis in Taiwan since 1949. She points out that Ma has no foundation of public support for this summit and requests KMT chairman, Eric Chu (Chu Li-luan), to expel Ma from the party.

DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen also says that the meeting of the cross-strait leaders involves Taiwan’s dignity and national interests. It is harmful to Taiwan’s democracy to announce the news in such a chaotic and hasty manner.

Tsai stresses that the DPP would like to see positive exchanges that contribute to the peace and mutual benefits between the two sides as long as they are under the principles of having equal rights to dignity, being open and are transparent, and do not require political premises.

In other words, concerns will be minimized if the summit is arranged through a transparent negotiation process, and assures that the topics discussed and the agreements made in the summit can be understood by the people and will accept the supervision of the parliament.

Tsai says, however, many people have already been criticizing the event. Ma is about to finish his term and the Taiwanese people will never allow Ma to limit Taiwan’s future only to gain his personal political reputation before he ends his term. Tsai says that Ma has no right to promise things he can’t be responsible for.

Tsai points out that Taiwan is undergoing a sensitive period due to the coming presidential election. It’s questionable whether the Ma-Xi meeting attempts to influence the election because it will be held at such a disputable time. If the KMT uses the cross-strait issue as political manipulation every time before the election, it will eventually lead to a negative influence on the long-term cross-strait relations, and will not be accepted by the Taiwanese people.

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang