China and Taiwan agreed on Thursday to set up their first ever offices on each others’ territories, as they began historic talks aimed at consolidating a dramatic rapprochement and building trade ties.
Both sides said the restart of the dialogue, which China suspended a decade ago as relations between the long-time rivals plummeted, would be able to serve as a platform for further improving ties.
“As long as we have mutual trust and understanding… these talks are going to become an important communication mechanism for cross-strait development,” chief Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin said.
The talks got off to a positive start, with the two semi-official bodies involved in the negotiations agreeing to establish bureaus on each others’ territories and Chen accepting an invitation to visit Taiwan this year.
Read also US welcomes China-Taiwan talks from AFP, TIMELINE: Milestones in China-Taiwan relations since 1949 from Reuters.