China and Taiwan have embarked on their highest level talks since 1949 and the end of the civil war.
For the first time a formal meeting is being held between government officials, symbolising smoother relations between the once bitter rivals.
Sensitive political issues are however unlikely to be broached at the talks on the mainland.
Taiwan is still regarded as a rebel province by China’s ruling Communist Party which has never ruled out reunification by force.
So far, booming trade has not brought progress on political reconciliation and many on self-governing Taiwan still fear China’s designs on their island.