NPR : News

China, Taiwan Hold First Direct Talks Since 1949

Representatives from China and Taiwan held face-to-face meetings in Nanjing on Tuesday.

This was a historic development; the two sides haven't held direct talks since the country split after a civil war in 1949.

Reuters reports that Taiwan was represented by Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi and China sent Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun.

The Washington Post reports:

"Beijing refuses to formally acknowledge the government in Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province, and previous negotiations on cross-strait relations have been conducted by quasi-official representatives rather than government officials.

"Taiwan's minister of mainland affairs, Wang Yu-chi, called the meeting a 'new chapter' in relations between the two sides, and 'truly a day for the record books,' according to wire service reports.

"China's representative, Zhang Zhijun, said the two negotiators could 'definitely become good friends,' but would need to show imagination to achieve breakthroughs in the future, China's official Xinhua news agency reported. 'We absolutely can't let the relations between the two sides be turbulent again, and even more, we can't backtrack,' Zhang said."

The New York Times has a brief history of relations between the two sides:

"In 1995 and 1996, [China] fired missiles into waters around Taiwan ahead of [Taiwan's] first democratic presidential election, and it regularly denounced Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan's independent-leaning president from 2000 to 2008.

"Following the 2008 election of President Ma Ying-jeou, who favors closer ties with the mainland, Beijing has taken a more conciliatory approach. Cross-strait trade has nearly doubled over the course of Mr. Ma's presidency, reaching $197 billion last year. Nearly three million Chinese traveled to Taiwan last year, constituting the largest single group of visitors following Taiwan's easing of restrictions on mainland arrivals starting in 2008.

"The two sides signed a landmark trade agreement, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, in 2010. Those negotiations were carried out by semiofficial bodies: Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Sexual Assault, Nate Parker And More

Director Nate Parker's college rape case is resurfacing and putting off would-be fans of his highly anticipated film "The Birth of a Nation." What do Washingtonians think?

NPR

Minnesota Cracks Down On Neonic Pesticides, Promising Aid To Bees

Minnesota's governor has ordered new restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been blamed for killing bees. Many details of the plan, however, remain to be worked out.
WAMU 88.5

Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan And His Visit To Mexico

Donald Trump lays out a plan for immigration after a meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto. An update on the Republican presidential nominee’s proposals on immigration, illegal drugs and trade.

WAMU 88.5

Results From Congressional Primary Races And New Concerns About Hacks Into State Voting Systems

Join us to discuss results from primary challenges to Republican Senator John McCain, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others and new concerns possible Russian hackers breaking into U.S. state voting systems.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.