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China, Taiwan hold historic meeting

Chinese President Hu Jintao met here with a senior Taiwan envoy in the highest-level meeting to take place overseas between the rivals since their split in 1949.

world Updated: Nov 22, 2008 16:10 IST

Chinese President Hu Jintao met here with a senior Taiwan envoy in the highest-level meeting to take place overseas between the rivals since their split in 1949.

Taiwan's former premier Lien Chan, who is honorary chairman of the island's ruling Kuomintang party, met yesterday with Hu for about 40 minutes at a hotel in Lima, Peru, where leaders are meeting for an Asia-Pacific summit.

Officials in Taiwan's summit delegation called it the highest-level meeting in an international setting since 1949, when the Kuomintang fled to Taiwan after losing China's civil war to the communists.

"It is very significant for old friends to meet far away from Asia," Lien, who has met Hu twice in China this year, told reporters after the meeting.

China has historically opposed any hint of international recognition of democratic Taiwan, which Beijing considers a part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

Yesterday's chat at the mainland Chinese delegation's hotel was the latest step forward for the two Cold War rivals, whose relations have improved dramatically this year.

Taiwan in March elected Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou, ending two decades of rule in Taipei by leaders who rattled China with their support for a separate identity for the democratic island.

Ma earlier this month became Taiwan's first president to meet with a senior Chinese official, who signed four deals that will see the two sides cooperating in air travel, post and cargo shipping.China, Taiwan hold historic meeting
Lima, Nov 22 (AFP)

Chinese President Hu Jintao met here with a senior Taiwan envoy in the highest-level meeting to take place overseas between the rivals since their split in 1949.

Taiwan's former premier Lien Chan, who is honorary chairman of the island's ruling Kuomintang party, met yesterday with Hu for about 40 minutes at a hotel in Lima, Peru, where leaders are meeting for an Asia-Pacific summit.

Officials in Taiwan's summit delegation called it the highest-level meeting in an international setting since 1949, when the Kuomintang fled to Taiwan after losing China's civil war to the communists.

"It is very significant for old friends to meet far away from Asia," Lien, who has met Hu twice in China this year, told reporters after the meeting.

China has historically opposed any hint of international recognition of democratic Taiwan, which Beijing considers a part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

Yesterday's chat at the mainland Chinese delegation's hotel was the latest step forward for the two Cold War rivals, whose relations have improved dramatically this year.

Taiwan in March elected Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou, ending two decades of rule in Taipei by leaders who rattled China with their support for a separate identity for the democratic island.

Ma earlier this month became Taiwan's first president to meet with a senior Chinese official, who signed four deals that will see the two sides cooperating in air travel, post and cargo shipping.