News / Asia

    Politics Loom as China, Taiwan Plan High-Level Talks

    Wang Yu-chi, minister of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, speaks during a press conference in Taipei, Jan. 28, 2014.
    Wang Yu-chi, minister of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, speaks during a press conference in Taipei, Jan. 28, 2014.
    Ralph Jennings
    Taiwan announced it will hold ministerial-level talks with China next month. The two sides are likely to discuss issues that would advance Beijing’s goal of unifying the two separately ruled sides.
     
    Taiwan said Tuesday its China policy architect, Wang Yu-chi, will visit two Chinese cities from February 11 to 14. Wang, who is minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, will meet Zhang Zhijun, minister of China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, during the visit.
     
    The first such high-level meeting between the two sides presents an opportunity to discuss tough political issues that have kept the Asian neighbors deeply divided for more than 60 years.
     
    Nathan Liu, an international affairs professor at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan, said public reaction may play a critical role in how much gets done at the talks.
     
    “This will be an ice-breaking movement leading to real political discussion or political issues. If the reaction from the general public is good, not too much trouble, I think they’ll just go ahead,” said Liu.
                   
    There is no official agenda for next month’s meeting, but experts believe it could set the stage for, among other things, working out a peace accord and joining together in international organizations that now only allow China.
     
    The two ministers also are expected next month to discuss establishing de facto consular offices. Those first-ever offices would service the surge in visits by Chinese and Taiwanese investors, and Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan.
     
    China and Taiwan have been separately ruled since the civil war of the 1940s, but Beijing claims sovereignty over the island and has threatened to use force if peaceful reunification fails. In 2008, the two sides broke their impasse with a series of trade, transit and investment deals worked out by semi-official negotiators.
     
    Democratic Taiwan still shunned political talks because much of the island’s public prefers to keep a distance from its Communist neighbor. However, last year Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly urged Taiwan to start talking politics soon. On Tuesday, China's Taiwan Affairs Office called the meeting an important move to develop relations.
     
    Economic powerhouse China has used investment and trade perks to sustain informal dialogue with Taiwan since 2008, and analysts say it now wants to start covering topics that it cares about more, namely reunification.
     
    The business community would welcome talks that ease tension, making China and Taiwan a safer place for long-term investment. Taiwanese, however, may protest if the ministerial discussions touch on issues that invite reunification.

    You May Like

    Wife of IS Leader Charged in Death of US Hostage

    Suspect allegedly admitted to being responsible for American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who officials say was sexually abused and ‘owned’ by one IS member

    Year of the Monkey Could Prove Economic Balancing Act for China

    China is up against a tricky situation on the financial front, facing the need to fight capital flight while also stopping a further slide of foreign currency reserves

    Runners Attempt 26-mile South Pole Marathon in Sub-Zero Temperatures

    How alluring is running 26.2 miles at 10,000 feet when it’s minus 31 Celsius out?

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    January 29, 2014 2:52 AM
    Mainland people of China and Island people of Taiwan are the most economic power house in that region. They should unite under the principal of ONE country two system basis. If unity becomes reality, China/Taiwan will eventually rule the whole world by economic means.

    by: Jackson Lee from: South Korea
    January 29, 2014 2:35 AM
    God bless there is never war in east Asia

    by: MikeBarnett from: USA
    January 28, 2014 4:31 PM
    Most of the world accepts that Taiwan is a province of China. Of the 193 members of the UN, only 21 and the Vatican recognize and maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The USA does not legally recognize Taiwan as an independent state, but it passed the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 to provide arms and training.

    China's GDP grows at several times the rate of the US. The economy pays for the military and develops its technological tools. China should pass the US economically and militarily in a few years. US leaders knew that this would happen, but they thought that it would be in 2050 when they were all dead. Two badly fought US wars, numerous unwise US interventions, and three US technology, corporate, and financial crises have caused China's relative advance to occur more rapidly.

    The US and NATO fight a war against islamic insurgents over US support for Israel and Arab dictators and over US bases in the Arabian Peninsula. China fights in Xinjiang; Russia fights in the southern Caucasus; and China, Russia, and the four "stans" in the SCO prepare for conflict in central Asia after the US and NATO leave in 2014. In WWII, the US and future NATO countries were allies of Russia and China but did not adopt dictatorial political systems. The West need not adopt the current political systems of Russia and China in the current situation. The US and NATO fail to recognize their defeats and their de facto allies. The West drains its resources for small places that give little or no help in its wars, so the West deserves its decline and defeat.

    by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
    January 28, 2014 12:50 PM
    Wish china and Taïwan will soon reunify peacefully.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.