The Ma-Xi meeting and attempts to change high school textbooks in Taiwan to teach a China-centric version of history can be interpreted as continued attempts by the KMT and China to influence Taiwan after the Sunflower Movement.
Firstly, the Ma-Xi meeting would be a way of superseding past meetings between Taiwanese and Chinese officials, such as the meeting which resulted in the 1992 Consensus between Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan Affairs Office representatives, the 1992 Consensus claiming that both the Republic of China and People’s Republic of China agreed that there was “One China, two interpretations.” But the Ma-Xi meeting would be a higher-level meeting entirely. Secondly, changes to high school textbooks would be a way of getting rid of textbooks instituted during the Chen administration seen by many as responsible for why this current generation of Taiwanese young people is more pro-Taiwan than their parents or previous generations.
The Ministry of Education occupation. Photo credit: Brian Hioe
However, arguably both were unsuccessful. Although Sunflower Movement activists such as Chen Wei-Ting took dramatic action to try and demonstrate the Ma-Xi meeting, even when this was successful, the meeting does not seen to have had its intended effect on Taiwanese society. Likewise, planned changes to high school textbooks ended up being demonstrated by high school students themselves, in a weeklong occupation of the Ministry of Education.