China and Taiwan hold first official level talks since 1949

Feb 12, 2014 17:45 IST

China and Taiwan began their first official-level talks since the end of the brutal Chinese civil war in 1949 on 11 February 2014. The talks were held at the Nanjing between Wang Yu-chi, head of Taiwan’s mainland affairs office and his Chinese counterpart Zhang Zhijun. The talks are part of a four day trip.

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The talks are perceived as an attempt to facilitate wider exchanges and building cross-strait relations and a confidence building exercise. Bilateral relations of the two nations have improved following the election of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in 2008.

Measures which indicate this are:

  • Restoration of direct flights.
  • The landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement signed in June 2010 between Taiwan and China.


The two countries are hostile neighbours. China regards Taiwan as its part but Taiwan opposes it. China’s long term aim is to integrate Taiwan with mainland. Recently, Taiwan experienced a long economic boom and thus has become more important for China. Taiwan on other hand, wants to promote communication on sciences and other subjects, education and culture.

Background

Chinese civil war was fought between the Kuomintang led by General Chiang Kai-Shek and the Chinese communist party led by Mao Tse-tung (also known as Mao Zadong). During this time, Nanjing was the capital and ruled by the Kuomintang. The war was briefly suspended during the Japanese attack. Finally, in 1949, Chinese communist party won over the Kuomintang. General Chiang Kai-Shek with his supporters went to the island of Formosa (Taiwan) and established Kuomintang government there. Thus since 1949, the island and the mainland have been governed separately.

Beijing considers Taiwan as a rebel region and aims to unite it with mainland by force if required. On other hand, Taipei accepts One China principle and is against independence for the island. But the problem is that both the Governments claim to be legitimate government of China. To address this issue, only government level officials can bring out any effective solution.

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Read more Current Affairs on: China , Taiwan

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