Hundreds of people gathered outside the Taiwanese parliament to protest the historical meeting planned to be held on Saturday in Singapore, for the first time since the Chinese Civil War ended up dividing China into two countries, People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China.
Protesters expressed their concerns about Beijing’s growing influence on the island and said that President Ma Ying-jeou has let down the people of Taiwan.
Many of those not happy with the recent developments gathered around the parliamentary building shouted slogans under the leadership of Huang Kuo-chang, who is also a legislative candidate:
"No Ma-Xi meeting! Recall Ma Ying-jeou!"
Leader of the protests, Huang, was also leader of a movement opposing a trade deal with China in 2014.
The meeting was announced on by Taiwan’s presidential office with a statement on early Wednesday, almost 2 months before the Taiwanese elections.
One of the protesters, Yung-ming Hsu said outside the Taiwanese parliament that Beijing’s move would not affect the upcoming presidential election but it was a “shot at Taiwan’s democracy.”
An official from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Taiwanese and Chinese presidents will not address each other with their honorific titles. Instead, they will use “mister” to address each other during their meeting, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
According to the statement by Taiwanese officials, no agreement will be signed by Chinese and Taiwanese leaders and no statement will be issued during the meeting between two countries.
However, they will discuss ways of providing peace between the countries whose relation were damaged 66 years ago when the nationalist leader of the island, Chiang Kai-shek fled with his army following their defeat against communist forces of China’s Mao Zedong.
The United States Department spokeswomen Elizabeth Trudeau said the US welcomed the recent developments between the countries saying that the meeting has a deep and abiding interest in the Taiwan Strait.
"The benefits that stable and positive cross-strait ties have brought to both sides of the Taiwan Strait, the United States, and the region have been enormous," she said.