China, Taiwan Hold Historic Talks

China, Taiwan Hold Historic Talks
For the first time since they ended their civil war 65 years ago, Taiwan and China held high-level political talks since their civil war ended 65 years ago.

The meeting, a result of warming relations, holds the potential to serve as a larger catalyst for improved ties.

Taiwanese Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi said, “We are able to sit down today for a meeting to discuss issues concerning both sides and we should cherish this peaceful and stable momentum. I hope we can further promote the cross-strait relationship on the basis of the consensus reached previously.”

Xinhua, China’s official news agency reported that the sides agreed to regular communication to better coordinate cross-Strait relations. According to Wang Yu-chi, the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, the primary agency in charge of planning China policy, called the meeting “a day worth noting” in the course of relations between China and Taiwan.

The Wall Street Journal notes the importance of another development – China’s willingness to engage in political discussions. Taiwan, however, is understandably more reluctant.

“China has recently shown signs it wants the discussions to move beyond economic issues to political ones. Chinese President Xi Jinping told a Taiwanese presidential envoy in October that China won’t let Taiwan indefinitely put off talks on political issues between Taipei and Beijing.

“Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said in November the time wasn’t yet ripe for the island to delve into political matters. Any potential peace treaty with China would first have to gain the support of the Taiwanese public through a referendum,” the paper reports.

Is It Time To Pivot To Asia?
As positive as China’s outreach to Taiwan may appear, Max Boot says he has “no doubt that China is going on the offensive, using aggressive nationalism as a ruling ideology to replace defunct Communist dogma.”

China’s posture combined with a Japan that no longer feels constrained militarily by the its history is exactly why Boot feels the US should “pivot” to Asia.

“The explosive situation between China and Japan is hardly the only area of tension that cries out for amelioration. As the comments from Benigno Aquino of the Philippines quoted above make clear, China has dangerous relations with many of its neighbors who are offended by its expansive territorial claims.

“Two U.S. allies–South Korea and Japan–also have poisonous relations that hinder efforts to contain both China and North Korea and could also be the subject of productive bridge-building work by an American secretary of state,” he writes in Commentary magazine.

Video Extra

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein on the importance of China’s growth to the global economy.


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