Xi wants to speed up cross-strait talks

Xi wants to speed up cross-strait talks

Chinese President Xi Jinping has signalled he wants to move faster on the issue of political talks with Taiwan, a goal unlikely to be met soon due to resistance from the island's people and the low popularity of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, analysts said.

"The longstanding cross-strait political differences must ultimately be resolved gradually. We can't pass this problem from one generation to the next," Mr Xi was quoted as telling former Taiwan Vice-President Vincent Siew on Sunday during closed-door talks held on the sidelines of the Apec summit in Bali.

"We've indicated many times that we're willing to make the necessary arrangements in order to negotiate cross-strait political problems on an equal footing with Taiwan under the one-China framework," he said.

"Relevant officials on both sides can also meet face-to-face to discuss how to handle issues pertinent to cross-strait ties."

Their talks were followed by an unprecedented meeting between Mr Zhang Zhijun, director of China's Cabinet-level Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), and Mr Wang Yu-chi, head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

They addressed each other by their official title of "minister" and talked about exchanging visits while surrounded by journalists at the Hotel Laguna lobby.

The Zhang-Wang meeting would have been inconceivable in the past, given China's claim of sovereignty over Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Party's insistence that it is the sole legitimate government of China.

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