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Taiwan's Ma will discuss island's isolation with China's Xi

The Associated Press

FILE – This combination of file photos show Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou, left, and China’s President Xi Jinping. Ma and Xi will meet Saturday, Nov. 7 in Singapore for the first time since civil war divided their lands 66 years ago, their governments said Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, a highly symbolic move that reflects quickly improving relations between the formerly bitter Cold War foes. (AP Photo/File)

Associated Press

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou says he plans to raise the issue of the island’s diplomatic isolation at this weekend’s historic meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore.

Ma also told reporters at a news conference Thursday that the meeting is unrelated to Taiwan’s January elections in which his ruling Nationalist Party is facing a tough challenge from the opposition.

The meeting is the first between the leaders of the two sides since Taiwan split from mainland China during the Chinese civil war in 1949.

China refuses to acknowledge the island as anything other than a breakaway province. Pressure from Beijing has reduced the number of countries recognizing Taiwan to just 22. Ma says he hopes to come to some kind of an understanding on the issue with Xi.

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