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China and Taiwan hold historic talks

November 7, 2015 5:33 pm

The leaders of China and Taiwan have held historic talks in Singapore – their first in more than 60 years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou shook hands at the start of the talks, which were seen as largely symbolic.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province which will one day be reunited with the mainland.

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But many Taiwanese see it as independent and are concerned at China’s growing influence.

The meeting took place in neutral territory on the sidelines of a state visit by Mr Xi to Singapore.

Relations between China and Taiwan have improved under Mr Ma since he took office in 2008, with better economic ties, improving tourism links, and a trade pact signed.

The two sides split in 1949 when the Kuomintang lost to the Chinese Communist Party in the civil war and set up a new government in Taiwan.

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