Tuesday, February 11, 2014

China, Taiwan to hold Cabinet-level talks

A senior Taiwanese official will visit China on Tuesday to hold the first Cabinet-level talks between the two sides since the territories split in 1949.

The chief of Taiwan's mainland affairs council, Wang Yu-chi, will visit Nanjing and meet his Chinese counterpart, Zhang Zhijun -- the head of the mainland's Taiwan affairs office.

They are expected to discuss establishing liaison offices in each territory.

Their meeting will be the first direct and Cabinet-level talks in past 65 years. The two sides have held dialogue through private channels.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for talks aimed at future political unification through the promotion of economic ties.

Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou has strengthened economic relations with China since taking office in 2008. But he has been reluctant to hold direct political talks that might lead to eventual unification.

It appears Ma might now expedite wider relations with China because the island's economy has been increasingly dependent on the mainland.