Taiwan's president calls for improved ties with China

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has called on China to adopt a fresh approach to relations between the two entities, Taiwanese media reported.

The appeal followed the Communist Party congress in Beijing that saw President Xi Jinping consolidate his grip on power.

Tsai said China and Taiwan had reached a “turning point” of opportunity to improve bilateral ties, Focus Taiwan, the English language service of the Central News Agency, said.

“China’s ruling party just concluded its national congress, entering a whole new phase of governance,” she told a public forum in Taipei on Thursday, the Taipei Times newspaper reported.

“Now is an opportunity for change.”

Tsai, who came to power in May last year, leads the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party that Beijing fears will push for formal independence from the mainland.

Taiwan and China remain at technically war following the 1949 retreat of nationalists to the island as the communists seized power. Beijing regards Taiwan as a rogue province that should be brought under control.

Relations have remained strained, with limited contact between the two, although recent years have seen an improvement in unofficial links. Beijing suspended regular dialogue following Tsai’s election.

During the congress in Beijing, which ended this week, Xi reiterated his commitment to a unified China and warned against attempts towards Taiwanese independence.