Taipei (AFP) May 16, 2010
Taiwan's former security chief has confirmed for the first time that Taipei and Beijing used secret communications channels from 2008 as they worked to thaw glacial ties, it was reported Sunday.
Su Chi, who was chief of the National Security Council until earlier this year, said in an interview with the Taipei-based United Daily News that the sensitive channels helped build trust between the longtime foes.
He said the National Security Council did not talk directly to authorities on the mainland, but declined to provide details of the secret channels.
"In my office, there were no hotlines. I did not contact them directly. It would have been too risky."
Taiwan's ties with its giant neighbour have improved markedly since President Ma Ying-jeou came to power in 2008, pledging to boost trade links and allowing in more Chinese tourists.
Taiwan has governed itself since 1949 at the end of a civil war. However, Beijing still considers Taiwan part of its territory and maintains its right to use force should the island move to declare formal independence.
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Taiwan wants US fighter jets: vice minister
Taipei (AFP) May 13, 2010
Taiwan's vice defence minister said Thursday that the island will keep trying to acquire fighter jets from the United States despite warming ties with former rival China. "The ministry's policy (to acquire the jets) is very clear and we will continue promoting it," Andrew Yang told parliament when asked to comment on a US report urging Taiwan to strengthen its air defences. "Effective ai ... read more
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