Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou to visit China in April

Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou of the opposition Kuomintang party will visit China next month before president-elect Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party takes office in May.

Ma's office said Monday he will stay in China from April 1 through 11. He will travel to the provinces of Guangdong and Shaanxi as well as the capital, Beijing.

The office did not rule out the possibility that he will meet high-ranking Chinese officials during the trip.

It says Ma will use his journey to Shaanxi to attend an annual ceremony at the mausoleum of the Yellow Emperor, the legendary ancestor of the Chinese nation.

The Chinese government "extended a warm welcome" to Ma in an article carried by state-run Xinhua news agency soon after his visit schedule was unveiled.

The article did not address Ma as a former president, but instead called him a "former chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang party."

Analysts are closely watching how China will receive Ma during the visit.

In late March last year, Ma became Taiwan's first former president to set foot in China. At the time, he met Shanghai's Chinese Communist Party chief and the head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. No sitting leader of Taiwan has made such a trip.