Baku. 7 November. REPORT.AZ/ China and Taiwan must not let proponents of Taiwan's independence split them, China's President Xi Jinping told Taiwan's president on Saturday at the first meeting between leaders of the two sides since China's civil war ended in 1949, Report informs citing Reuters.
Ma Ying-jeou, president of self-ruled, democratic Taiwan, where anti-Beijing sentiment has been rising ahead of elections, called for mutual respect for each other's systems and said Taiwan wanted China to use peaceful means to resolve issues.
The talks, at a luxury hotel in the neutral venue of Singapore, lasted less than an hour but were heavy with symbolism.
The two leaders shook hands and smiled in front of a mass of journalists when they met, with Xi wearing a red tie, the colour of the Communist Party, and Ma a blue one, the colour of his Nationalist Party.
Moving into a meeting room, Xi, speaking first and sitting opposite Ma, said Chinese people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait had the ability and wisdom to solve their own problems.
"No force can pull us apart because we are brothers who are still connected by our flesh even if our bones are broken, we are a family in which blood is thicker than water," Xi said.
In response, Ma said he was determined to promote peace across the Taiwan Strait and that relations should be based on sincerity, wisdom and patience.