China and Taiwan Move Big Step Closer

Kathrin Hille reports from Beijing, in the Financial Times:

China and Taiwan took a big step towards closer ties on Thursday with agreements for regular non-stop charter flights, more bilateral tourism and further talks.

The agreements were the fruits of the first official meeting between the two sides in 10 years. They follow Taiwan’s election last month of a more pragmatic government led by President Ma Ying-jeou.

In addition, Taiwan’s parliament passed legislation on Thursday that legalises the conversion of renminbi, the Chinese currency, on the island. The government said it was preparing measures to allow banks to exchange Chinese for local currency by next month, timed to facilitate Chinese travel to Taiwan.

The resumption of dialogue marks a political breakthrough as it opens the door to frequent consultations between officials of governments that have refused to recognise each other for decades.

June 13, 2008 12:41 AM
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Categories: Politics, Taiwan