A China-Taiwan handshake, 66 years in the making



It was simply a handshake. Just 2 prosperous-looking males in dark matches walking throughout a hotel meeting room to state hi there.

It was very choreographed political theater, a gesture that had really been talked about and worked out for more than 2 years. And now, the leaders of China and Taiwan, 2 competitors whose hatred for each other had in fact when appeared positioned to draw the world into nuclear war, were smiling and shaking hands for hundreds of video cameras.

For several years, that handshake had in fact appeared challenging.

Sixty-six years previously, in 1949, Chiang Kai-shek pulled back to an island throughout the Taiwan Strait as Mao Zedong’s forces took control of mainland China. In the depths of the Cold War, the world lined up behind their favorite: the Eastern Bloc behind Mao and Beijing, the West behind Chiang and Taiwan.

Slowly, however, the enmity faded. Talk of war was heard less and less. Cash wound up being a typical language.

Taiwan got rich, in part by investing the wealth that Chiang’s forces had actually brought with them on their retreat, ending up being a commercial powerhouse that churned out inexpensive electronic devices. After China opened its economy, Chinese factories ended up being the place to decide for inexpensive customer items. Eventually, Taiwanese financiers put billions of dollars into the mainland.

Currently, Taiwan had actually ended up being a global stepchild, a not-quite nation deserted by the United Nations and needed to contend in the Olympics as Chinese Taipei. If China ended up being far more effective, Taiwan had not been merely going to offer up.

Bitterness, both sides saw, was not going to obtain rather.

Which is why at precisely 3 p.m. Saturday, China’s Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou entered from either side of a ballroom at Singapore’s Paradise hotel, approached one another and shook hands.

They stood there enough time so each may experiment with a variety of smiles: effusive, diplomatic, perhaps even coy. Stammering shadows danced behind them as numerous electronic video cameras clicked and on.

Exactly what did it show that Ma kept his brightest political leader smile as Xi began to look tired? Did Xi stop simply short as he walked throughout the stage, so Ma would require to take the last step to him?

The guys saw to it there was no other news. Even the background– a plain yellow wall– was decided to be neutral, neither the red of China nor heaven of Ma’s Kuomintang party.

They made sure the handshake itself was the news. And it was.

U.S. News.