China respects Taiwan system, Xi Jinping tells Lien Chan
BEIJING (AFP) - China's President Xi Jinping on Tuesday told a former vice president of Taiwan that Beijing respects the island's social system and lifestyle, state media reported, in a sign of the steadily improving relations between the two sides.
The meeting in Beijing between Mr Xi and Mr Lien Chan, also an honorary chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, was the latest high-level encounter between the two sides, which split in 1949 after a civil war.
Mainland China has since been ruled by the Communist Party while capitalist Taiwan has adopted democracy.
Mr Xi said "the Chinese mainland respects the social system and lifestyle that Taiwan compatriots have chosen," Xinhua news agency reported.