China and Taiwan are to restart dialogue after an almost 10-year hiatus, the vice president-elect Vincent Siew told reporters in Taipei. ( dpa )
His remarks came during a joint press conference with president- elect Ma Ying-jeou a day after Siew returned from a meeting with China's President Hu Jiantao on the margins of the 2008 Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan.
The Communist leadership in Beijing had expressed readiness to recommence talks which it had broken off in 1999.
"Time and wisdom" were necessary to develop bilateral contacts Siew said and termed his trip to China's southern Hainan province as a "journey of melting the ice."
"It (the iceberg) will become a flood if it melts too fast," Siew said.
While there was as yet no schedule for resuming direct cross- strait talks, both sides wanted to do so as soon as possible, Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) reported.
The resumption of talks has not yet been confirmed in Beijing, and Chinese media quoted Hu Jiantao as saying only that attempts to return to the negotiating table would be pressed ahead.
Talks cannot be held at government level as China's Communist leadership views Taiwan as a breakaway province and does not recognize it.
Ma had earlier Monday named Chiang Pin-kun as the new government official in charge of promoting ties with China.
Speaking to the Hong Kong press corps, Ma confirmed that Chiang would head the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).
As SEF chairman, his task is to resume unofficial talks with China to solve various problems in the absence of a formal negotiation channel.
The SEF and its mainland counterpart, the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), held talks in Singapore in 1993, marking the first dialogue between Taipei and Beijing since 1949.
Both sides held several rounds of talks which China broke off when former president Lee Teng-hui advocated Taiwan's independence during a trip to the United States.