China and Taiwan, head to head

A historic meeting between China and Taiwan is taking place this week. Will it become a turning point in relations between the two countries? Jonathan Manthorpe, in considering the history and political factors, is doubtful. An excerpt of his new column:

Manthorpe B&WThis week’s meeting between officials from the Chinese and Taiwanese governments is historic, but more for its symbolism than any prospect of dramatic outcomes.

For Beijing the hope is that after eight years of improving economic ties, the talks are the beginning of a political process that will see the island nation of 23 million people absorbed into China …

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Post updated to clarify timing of meeting.