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February 12, 2014

Taiwan Delegation Continues Historic China Trip with Tomb Visit

by VOA News

Taiwan's top official on China affairs is continuing his historic tour of the mainland with more calls for improved relations between the two sides.

Mainland Affairs Council chief Wang Yu-chi's comments came as he visited the Nanjing tomb of Sun Yat-sen, the founder of modern China.

The visit came a day after Wang held Taiwan's first political talks with China since their civil war 65 years ago, a symbolic sign of warming ties.

"Over the past 60 years, the two sides across the Strait were on the cusp of war during the worst period. But since 2008, the two sides have promoted peace, stability and development through regular consultations and communication on the basis of points of agreement. The priority for the future is for the two sides to acknowledge each other and resolve problems with a pragmatic approach, so we can set-up a stable cross-strait relations in the future. This will be of benefit to the people across the Strait and make the Taiwan Strait a strait of peace and cooperation," said Wang.

Nothing of importance was agreed upon at Wang's Tuesday meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Zhang Zhijun, but Chinese state media on Wednesday declared the event a success for the mere reason that it was able to happen.

In announcing the trip last month, Wang said he would not be dealing with sensitive political issues, but would help establish a communication mechanism to avoid misunderstandings.

Taiwan split from China following a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still regards it as a breakaway province that will someday be reunified with the mainland.

Economic ties have improved in recent years, especially after the somewhat Beijing-friendly Ma Ying-jeou was elected president in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.