05/04/2015, 00.00
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Xi Jinping meets KMT party leader to boost cooperation

China’s president, who is also Communist Party chief, met Eric Chu, head of Taiwan’s ruling KMT party. During the meeting, he praised their mutual efforts to co-operate, which has improved cross-strait relations and prevented war. He also urged the two sides to ensure a brighter future across the Taiwan Strait. For mainland China, Taiwan remains a breakaway province.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Communist Party chief Xi Jinping told Kuomintang (KMT) leader Eric Chu that efforts by the two sides to co-operate in the past decade had greatly improved cross-strait relations and helped prevent them from going to war.

Xi and the head of Taiwan’s ruling party met this morning in Beijing. During their tête-à-tête, they agreed to boost mutual dialogue to ensure a brighter future across the Taiwan Strait.

Mainland China and Taiwan have been at loggerheads since 1949 when Nationalist (KMT) forces fled to the island after losing the civil war to the communists. From the island, the KMT claimed to represent the whole of China even though the mainland was firmly in the grip of Mao Zedong.

Until the 1970s, most of the world recognised the Republic of China (Taiwan) as China’s legitimate government in lieu of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This began to change when US President Richard Nixon accepted the latter as the country’s representative at the United Nations as part of his ping-pong diplomacy.

Although the mainland and Taiwan have been governed separately since 1949, the PRC considers the island as a breakaway province and has pushed other countries to break relations with the island.

Relations between the two sides thawed in recent years after Ma Ying-jeou became president of Taiwan in 2008 pledging to improve ties.

Yesterday’s was the 10th meeting of its kind since then KMT chairman Lien Chan held historic fence-mending talks with President Hu Jintao in 2005.

Chu said he hoped Taiwan could play a bigger role in the global community as well as take part in the new, Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other economic blocs.

Until now, mainland China has tried to keep Taiwan outside of international organisations. In some, it has observer status under the name Chinese Taipei.

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