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Hu Jintao

Timeline of China-Taiwan relations leading to historic meet

China and Taiwan have been separately ruled since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s, but China claims sovereignty over the island and insists the two sides eventually unify. They have in recent years set aside that dispute to build trust and sign economic cooperation deals, and their presidents will meet for the first time Saturday.

A timeline of relations as the two sides have moved gradually over the past 36 years from outright hostility to face-to-face meetings:


January 1979: Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping offers the concepts of "one country, two systems" and "peaceful unification" as possible alternatives to a military attack on...