At the start of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese leadership has made fresh overtures to neighbouring Taiwan.
Premier Wen Jiabao said China was ready to create the conditions needed to reach a peace deal with the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own. He also said China was willing to hold talks with Taiwan on military issues. China is suffering in the global financial crisis, as the premier made clear in his state-of-the-nation style address to parliament. But Wen maintained the country would achieve 8 percent growth this year and he set out spending programmes aimed at shoring up the world’s third-largest economy.