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China Tries Panda Diplomacy With Taiwan

China has offered a pair of giant pandas and economic concessions to Taiwan at the end of a landmark visit by Taiwan's main opposition leader. China's goodwill gestures include lifting a ban on Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan and increasing fruit imports from the island.

Beijing made the offers Tuesday, as Taiwan opposition leader Lien Chan ended a historic trip to China - the first by a Nationalist party chief since the Nationalists fled to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

Mr. Lien was warmly received by Beijing, a move analysts say is aimed at isolating pro-independence Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian. China is demanding reunification with Taiwan, by force if necessary.

Professor Lee Si-kuen, at the National Taiwan University, says goodwill gestures will not bridge differences. "After the news event, people in Taiwan will soon realize the reality is still there - the reality of hostility between the two sides," he said.

President Chen has said Taiwan is open to a dialogue with China at any time.