China calls for exchange of offices with TaiwanSeptember 13, 2013 @ 12:27 am
BEIJING (AP) - Beijing on Friday renewed calls for China and longtime rival Taiwan to set up representative offices in each other's capitals, but said sticky problems still need to be resolved for that to happen.
Negotiators from the two sides managed to resolve some technical language issues during talks late last month, the spokesman for the government's Taiwan Affairs Office, Yang Yi, said at a briefing. But he told reporters that other "left-over problems" weren't discussed.
"The two sides should start with easy things, proceed step by step, avoid sensitive issues, and reach a consensus on issues that can be solved at the present stage," Yang said.
Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949, and Beijing has threatened to bring the self-governing island back under its control by force. However, trade and travel have boomed amid easing tensions in recent years, prompting calls to set up permanent representative offices.
Contacts between the sides are managed by nominally private organizations and questions remain over what authority representative offices would have.
Recent years have seen Taiwan and China institute direct flights and shipping between them and sign a series of trade agreements including a landmark deal in 2010 that cut tariffs on hundreds of industrial goods
China hopes such contacts will lead to political and security talks laying the groundwork for its unification goal. The vast majority of Taiwanese favor the status quo of de-facto independence, however, and the island's elected leaders have balked at discussions touching on sovereignty.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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