TAIPEI, Nov. 8 -- Taiwan's political observers have warmly welcomed the Singapore meeting between Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou on Saturday, expecting the meeting to help settle disputes and bring improvement of cross-Strait ties.
The meeting was held in a "very harmonious ambiance," said Chao Chun-Shan, president of the Foundation on Asia-Pacific Peace Studies, who observed the meeting in Singapore and returned to Taipei early Sunday morning.
"The leaders displayed a high level of empathy. Both sides showed sincerity and willingness to focus on common ground and shelve the differences for the moment," Chao said at a seminar here.
It was the first meeting of cross-Strait leaders and people can not expect all problems to be settled in one meeting, he said, adding that it will take much longer for the two sides to properly address the issues mentioned at the meeting.
"The outcome of the meeting exceeded my expectations. It will not only benefit the Taiwan Strait but also peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific," he said.
Mignonne Chan, a local legislator, noted that, through the meeting, Taiwan proved "to be a participant of a constructive relationship instead of a trouble maker".
The meeting also presented Taiwan people a chance to carefully review the development of cross-Strait relations and under what conditions they have been achieved, Chan said.
She praised the mainland for choosing the path of peaceful development and adopting a "flexible and pragmatic approach".
Prof. Tso Chen-dong, with the Department of Political Science of Taiwan University, told Xinhua that the two sides of the Strait set a very good example of dispute-settling for the rest of the world as despite their history and differences they are able to talk and seek solutions.
All leading newspapers covered the meeting in great detail and highlighted its significance for the region's future.
Taiwan-based Economic Daily wrote in an editorial that the two sides crossed over "the deep gorge left over by history" and their relations took a big step forward.
"Two sides of the Strait have greater possibilities for cooperation and people will enjoy the peace," the article wrote.
However, there are concerns about the followup to the meeting.
Kou Chien-wen, head of the Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies, Chengchi University, suggested that, despite the great significance of the meeting, people will still need to see the improvement of cross-Strait talks on detailed policies.
"We hope that, after the high-level meeting, the two sides can make progress on difficult problems that have not been solved in regular cross-Strait talks," he said.