China welcomes upcoming visit by former Taiwanese President Ma

A Chinese government spokesperson has expressed an intention to welcome the upcoming visit of former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou to China next month.

Ma plans to visit the Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Shaanxi, as well as the capital Beijing, from April 1 through 11.

Observers are interested in whether Ma, who belongs to Taiwan's largest opposition Kuomintang party, and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a meeting.

Some Taiwanese online media outlets have reported that talks between the two are scheduled in Beijing on April 8.

A spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, Chen Binhua, told reporters on Wednesday there is currently no information he can offer.

But he promised to make the necessary arrangements and cooperate with Ma.

When Ma was the president of Taiwan, he met Xi in Singapore in 2015.

Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party will assume presidency of Taiwan in May.

All eyes are on whether Ma and Xi will meet again before that.