Nov 6, 2015 11:14 PM
The Latest: Ma says meeting Xi is 'great opportunity'
The Associated Press
SINGAPORE (AP) The latest on the historic meeting between the presidents of China and Taiwan in Singapore. All times local.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou says the upcoming meeting with China's leader, Jinping Xi, is a "great opportunity and I should grasp the chance of meeting him."
Talking to reporters aboard a flight from Taipei to Singapore, where the historic meeting in taking place later Saturday, Ma said that he slept "quite early" last night and was not feeling nervous.
He says: "I feel very calm right now."
Four Taiwanese fighter jets escorted Ma's plane shortly after it took off from Taipei, as is tradition of the self-governing island's air force paying respect to the president.
By AP video journalist Johnson Lai, aboard the presidential plane
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has arrived in Singapore Saturday morning for the first-ever meeting with China's leader since their territories split during the Chinese civil war in 1949.
According to Taiwan's Central News Agency, Ma said before his departure from Taipei that he hopes the two leaders will take stock of bilateral relations in the past few years and look to the future. Ma said that the meeting would help solidify peace across the Taiwan Strait and maintain what he calls the status quo.
Ma and President Jinping Xi are scheduled to meet for an hour behind closed doors at the Shangri-la Hotel before having dinner together.
Ma is the successor to Chiang Kai-shek, whose Nationalists retreated to the island, while Xi now leads Mao Zedong's victorious Communists, who set up government in Beijing.