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

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs