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Taiwan, China to Hold Historic Talks

Taiwan's top policymaker on Beijing issues says he will travel to mainland China next month for the first high-level contact between the two sides since 1949.

Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi said Tuesday his trip was "crucial" for further institutionalizing China-Taiwan ties, which have warmed in recent years.

Wang will meet his Chinese counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, in the southern city of Nanjing and in Shanghai from February 11 until February 14.

Speaking to reporters, Wang said the trip will not deal with sensitive political issues, but will help establish a communication mechanism to avoid misunderstandings.

Taiwan split off 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 improved in recent years, especially after the somewhat Beiing-friendly Ma Ying-jeou was elected president in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.

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