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Taiwan's President Calls for 'Breakthrough' in Relations with China

FILE - Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during the National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan, Oct. 10, 2017.

Taiwan's president is calling for a breakthrough in relations with China that would finally bring an end to years of strained relations between communist Beijing and the self-ruled island.

Speaking Thursday at a cross-strait forum in Taipei Thursday, Tsai Ing-wen said China's recently-concluded party congress represents a chance for the rivals to reach an accord that would permanently abolish the threat of "hostilities and war."

China and Taiwan split in 1949 after Chaing Kai-shek's Nationalist forces were driven off the mainland by Mao Zedong's Communists and sought refuge on the island of Taiwan. Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade territory that should be reunified with the mainland, even by force.

China cut off official communication with Taipei after President Tsai, the leader of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, took office last year and refused to accept the long-standing “one China" principle.

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to thwart any attempt by Taiwan to declare independence during his opening speech last week at the party congress.

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