China minister seeks to rebuild Taiwan ties | News | Al Jazeera

China minister seeks to rebuild Taiwan ties

Zhang Zhijun's visit is first ministerial-level contact with Taiwan, and follows mass anti-China protests in Tapei.

    China and Taiwan have been separately ruled since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s [EPA]
    China and Taiwan have been separately ruled since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s [EPA]

    China has sent its first ever ministerial-level official to Taiwan for four days of meetings to rebuild ties with the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own, after mass protests in Taipei set back relations earlier this year.

    Zhang Zhijun, the minister of Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, arrived on Wednesday to meet his government counterpart about cutting import tariffs and establishing consular-style offices helpful to investors and tourists.

    China and Taiwan have been separately ruled since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s. China sees the island as part of its territory.

    In 2008, Beijing set aside military threats to sign agreements binding its economy to the island.

    But in March, hundreds of student-led protesters forcibly occupied parliament in Taipei to stop ratification of a two-way trade pact.

    Thousands of people joined the 24-day action, dubbed the Sunflower Movement, to demand an end to Taiwan's engagement with China, which they still see as an enemy.

    Zhang is expected to try to head off any protests by shunning strong political statements while talking to students, low-income people and a figure in Taiwan's anti-China chief opposition party.

    SOURCE: AP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The State of Lebanon

    The State of Lebanon

    Amid deepening regional rivalries what does the future hold for Lebanon's long established political dynasties?

    Exploited, hated, killed: The lives of African fruit pickers

    Exploited, hated, killed: Italy's African fruit pickers

    Thousands of Africans pick fruit and vegetables for a pittance as supermarkets profit, and face violent abuse.