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World Briefing / China

Leaders, uh, party chiefs send letters

July 28, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The Taiwanese and Chinese presidents swapped messages, the first such exchange since the two sides split amid civil war 60 years ago.

They did so in their capacity as party leaders, rather than as heads of state, to skirt the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty. It was the latest sign of rapidly improving relations between the once-bitter enemies since Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took office 14 months ago.

According to a statement from Ma's Nationalist Party, Chinese President and Communist Party chief Hu Jintao sent a telegram to the Taiwanese leader congratulating him on his election as party chairman, and told him he hopes his party can work with Ma's.

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