Taiwan and China Open Formal Talks

China and Taiwan have opened formal bilateral talks for the first time in almost a decade.

Negotiators from Taiwan and China have opened their first formal talks in almost a decade, aiming to forge an agreement on expanded charter flights between the sides that have had no scheduled transport links between them in 59 years. art.pinkung.ap.jpg

Taiwan’s delegation Thursday also planned to discuss what additional help the island could provide for China’s earthquake relief efforts. The talks are scheduled to run through Friday at a state guesthouse in western Beijing.

The 19-member Taiwanese team is being led by Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the quasi-governmental Straits Exchange Foundation, and includes two vice Cabinet ministers — the highest-ranking Taiwanese officials ever to participate in bilateral talks.

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