Apr 01, 2009

Taiwan: Military Encounter Between Taipei and Beijing

Sample ImageThe first encounter between high military officials since 1949 scheduled in August 2009 is a sign of thawing relations between Taiwan and the main land.


Below is an article written by Al Jazeera:

Taiwan and China military 'to meet'
Senior military officials from China and Taiwan will meet for the first time since the two split following the communist takeover of the Chinese mainland 60 years ago, Chinese state media has reported.

The officials from the two sides are both due to attend a regional security forum in Hawaii in August [2009], the China Daily said on Tuesday [31 March 2009].

The anticipated meeting is the latest sign of warming relations between the two rivals.

The Transnational Security Cooperation forum is being organised by the US Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, an institute under the US department of defence.

The China Daily gave no other details on who would take part in the meeting or what would be discussed.
China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, when defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island.

Sovereignty claim
Ever since China has viewed Taiwan as a part of its territory awaiting reunification -  by force if necessary - and has previous labelled the country as a "renegade province".

However, an improvement in relations has occurred since Ma Ying-jeou, the president, took office in Taiwan last May [2008] promising to boost the island's trade and tourism links with the mainland.

Earlier this month [March 2009], Taiwan's defence ministry said it planned to cut the size of its armed forces by more than a fifth by 2014 as a result of the warming relations with China.

In December [2008], the two sides inaugurated the first daily passenger flights across the Taiwan Strait along with other transport links.

Nonetheless, Taiwan officials estimate China still has more than 1,000 missiles aimed at the island, and says it is continuing to expand its arsenal.