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China's top official on Taiwan arrives in Taoyuan for landmark visit

Published on Jun 25, 2014 2:27 PM

CHINA'S first top Taiwan official to visit the island, arrived on Wednesday morning, where smiling officials, banner-waving protesters and international media alike waited - reflecting the challenges that the Jiangsu native will have to navigate on this unprecedented tour.

Mr Zhang Zhijun, director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), will meet his counterpart, Mr Wang Yu-chi, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chairman, for talks in the afternoon.

This is the second official meeting between the two sides' chiefs of cross-strait affairs. The first was in February, when in a sign of warming ties, Mr Wang visited Nanjing and Shanghai, marking the first government-to-government contact between mainland China and Taiwan since the end of the civil war in 1949.

This time, both officials are meeting at the Novotel hotel next to the Taoyuan International Airport. While it is just a 45-minute car ride from Taipei, Mr Zhang will not be visiting the capital due to political sensitivities. Both sides till this day do not formally recognise the other, and the ancient Chinese adage han zei bu liang li - the legitimate government and the bandits cannot co-exist - continues to be in play in the fraught relationship.

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