CHINA> Taiwan, HK, Macao
Ma resets schedule to meet Chen
By Xing Zhigang (
Updated: 2008-11-06 11:02

TAIPEI -- Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou met with chief of mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chen Yunlin in Taipei at 11:00 am on Thursday.

Ma and Chen exchanged gifts at the meeting in a hotel. Chen presented Ma a painting of a horse. Ma's surname means horse in Chinese language.

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Ma gave Chen a fine porcelain.

The meeting lasted only five minutes, at which officials of ARATS' Taiwan counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), were also present.

Chen is in Taiwan for a historic five-day visit at the invitation of SEF.

Their meeting was previously scheduled to be held at 4:30pm on Thursday at the Taipei Guest House. The resheduled meeting was announced shortly before it was actually taken place.

But Ma told a press conference that the meeting will take place at 11:00am.

Chen is the highest-level mainland envoy to visit the island since 1949.

His decision came hours after pro-independence Democracit Progressive Party (DPP) demonstrators trapped Chen at Taipei's Grand Formosa Regent Hotel for about eight hours.

The DPP has threatened to mobilize 100,000 to lay siege to the meeting venue.

Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou announced on Thursday morning his meeting with Beijing's top envoy will be held ahead of schedule.