Changing China

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A Hu-Ma summit in 2012?

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When Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou was elected ruling Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman in July, pundits jumped on the idea that he would use his new title to help secure a meeting with China’s President Hu Jintao. The first-of-a-kind summit would follow six decades of strained relations including China’s threats of military force against the island.

Ma’s new job, which he will take in mid-October, allows him to meet Communist Party Chairman Hu in a party-to-party role, laying aside each side’s presidential title. China does not recognise Taiwan’s presidency or other government institutions as it claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island.

Beijing’s state-run China Daily newspaper said such a meeting would signal “great reconciliation.”

A meeting would best take place in 2012, according to a KMT spokesman, Lee Chien-jung.

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