Why The Straits Of Taiwan Are Looking Calmer

After nearly three years of standoffs and saber-rattling, Taipei and Beijing are close to resuming talks that China broke off after Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui's 1995 visit to the U.S. Beijing took the first step by offering a major concession. Instead of insisting, as before, that the reunification of Taiwan with China be on the agenda, Beijing is now ready to discuss practical matters such as fishing rights without raising the charged reunification issue. One Chinese official says Beijing also may offer to "renounce the use of force" in its dealings with Taiwan to smooth long-term discussions about reunification.

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