5-speed listening (Level 5)

China and Taiwan in historic meeting






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A historic event involving China and Taiwan will take place today, November the 7th. Chinese president Xi Jinping and Taiwanese president Ma Ying-Jeou will meet for discussions. It is the first summit at presidential level between China and Taiwan since the end of China's civil war in 1949. Taiwan is just 180 km from China but their relations have been difficult for decades. China believes Taiwan is part of its territory and not a separate nation. Only 22 countries recognise Taiwan as an independent country. Its status is one of the more difficult world problems to solve.

The meeting is a major stepping stone to repair decades-old differences. It could lead to similar meetings in the future. Special etiquette is already in place. The two parties have decided not to use the term "president" to address each other. Instead, they will use the word "mister". Further, the two leaders will not sign any agreements, issue any joint statements or hold a joint press conference. The meeting is to, "exchange views on promoting the peaceful development of…relations". The talks also, "aim to solidify relations between the two sides and keep the status quo".

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