China, Taiwan Open Historic Talks With Handshake

Photo Courtesy: UPI

SINGAPORE, Nov. 7 (UPI) — The leaders of China and Taiwan opened their first talks in more than 60 years Saturday with a handshake, a symbolic gesture that marks renewed stability between the political rivals.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou began their talks smiling broadly and turning side-by-side so hundreds of reporters at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore could capture the moment.

China and Taiwan, respectively known as the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China, have not met since a 1949 split amid a bloody civil war. Their first interactions were closely scrutinized as a reflection of how their renewed relationship would progress.

“History will remember today,” Xi said. “We are seated together here today so that the tragedies of history will not be repeated, so that the gains from peaceful development across the strait will not be won and again lost, so that compatriots on both sides of the strait continue making peaceful and tranquil lives, and so that succeeding generations can share a beautiful future.”

Saturday night, the leaders were expected to meet at a “casual” dinner at a high-end Cantonese restaurant. They were planning to split the bill, another indication of the still tentative relationship between the countries.

Earlier in the week, anti-Beijing parties held protests in Taiwan after the historic summit was announced.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here