Taiwan’s opposition leader Lien Chan has held a historic meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Lien’s Nationalist Party and Hu’s Communist Party pledged to push for a resumption of dialogue between Taiwan and China, on hold since 1999. Friday’s meeting in Beijing was the first of its kind since the Nationalists lost the civil war and fled to Taiwan in 1949.
The two parties agreed to seek a formal end to hostilities. In March, China passed a law authorising military action if Taiwan formally declares independence.
They also agreed to discuss a common market which could mean China exempting Taiwan’s fruit from import duties.
But any progress will depend on Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party which backs independence for the island.
Lien received a warm response from the Chinese public. But a statement from Taipei said that he had failed to persuade Beijing to recognise Taiwan’s sovereignty, or to reduce the number of missiles pointing towards it.