Once hostile Taiwan, China set to sign more deals

Negotiators for China and Taiwan will meet next week, as Beijing sends its highest-level official in decades to the self-ruled island that it claims as its own to sign a list of deals over a din of protests.

The November 3-7 talks mark another thaw in relations between the two sides since Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May on pledges to improve the island’s economy by getting a piece of China’s booming markets.

By Ralph Jennings, Reuters

Negotiators for China and Taiwan will meet next week, as Beijing sends its highest-level official in decades to the self-ruled island that it claims as its own to sign a list of deals over a din of protests.

The November 3-7 talks mark another thaw in relations between the two sides since Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May on pledges to improve the island’s economy by getting a piece of China’s booming markets.

A plane flies past the entrance of the Grand Hotel, which is ...
plane flies past the entrance of the Grand Hotel, which is the location of the upcoming talks between the mainland and Taiwan, in Taipei October 31, 2008.(Nicky Loh/Reuters)

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek‘s KMT fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary.

“Symbolically, the meeting is important because it conveys a message from the Chinese government and leadership that they are supporting this process to enhance interaction,” said Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the Taiwan think tank, China Council of Advanced Policy Studies.

“It’s also conducive to (President) Ma’s commitment to keeping peace,” he said.

Chen Yunlin, Beijing’s top negotiator on Taiwan affairs, will lead a 60-person team to the island on Monday.

During the week, he and Taiwan counterpart P.K. Chiang will negotiate shortening routes for direct flights, which started in July following landmark two-way talks in Beijing after a decades-long ban due to security concerns.

They also aim to add six new Chinese airports to the destination list and allow daily direct flights, up from four days a week now.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081031/wl_nm/us_taiwan_china_1

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