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Taiwan Ruling Party Chief Vows 'Open and Transparent' China Visit

Taiwan's ruling party chairman on Friday pledged to conduct his upcoming visit to China in an "open and transparent" fashion, amid growing public unease over mainland influence.

Eric Chu is set to leave for Shanghai on Saturday to attend an annual trade forum and meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday, in what will be the first visit to the mainland by a Kuomintang (KMT) party chief since 2008.

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May Day Rallies in Asia as South Koreans Clash with Police

South Korean workers clashed with riot police at a May Day rally in Seoul on Friday, vowing to wage an "all-out general strike" if the government pushes through with planned labor reforms.

Thousands of riot police erected barricades to block about 10,000 workers from marching toward the office of President Park Geun-Hye.

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Taiwan President Defends China Policy ahead of Xi Meeting

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou Wednesday defended his policy of rapprochement with China ahead of a meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the chairman of the island's ruling party, saying it had brought peace despite fears of Beijing's increasing influence.

Xi is expected to meet Eric Chu, who succeeded Ma as chairman of the China-friendly Kuomintang party, in Beijing on Monday.

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Nepal Rejects Taiwan Rescue Team Offer

Taiwan's foreign minister said Monday the government of earthquake-devastated Nepal had rejected its offer of a 20-man rescue team, but denied diplomatic pressures were behind the decision.

The Taipei-based crew was put on standby Sunday with much of the Nepalese capital in ruins and more than 3,500 confirmed dead, but were told aid was being prioritized from neighboring countries.

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China Leaders to Meet Taiwan Ruling Party Chief

Leaders of China's Communist Party will meet the chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party early next month, state media said Friday, amid improving relations between the political foes.

Mainland officials, who were not named, will meet Eric Chu, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing Ma Xiaoguang, of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party Central Committee.

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Malaysia Urges Beijing's Cooperation in South China Sea

Malaysia has called for China to cooperate with Southeast Asia in speeding up talks on a set of rules in the disputed South China Sea, where Beijing's island-building activities have sparked international alarm.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, whose country hosts a regional summit next week, also cautioned rival claimants to the strategic seaway against taking actions that stoke tensions, according to an interview published Thursday in The Star.

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Beijing: Taiwan Rejected as Founding Member of AIIB

Taiwan's bid to become a founding member of China's new regional development bank has been rejected, Beijing said Monday, dashing the island's hopes of having a platform in the institution from the start.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Beijing-based State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said in a statement that a Hong Kong report the island had failed to become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was correct.

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Taiwanese Activists Rally to Keep 'Sunflower' Spirit Alive

Taiwanese rallied Friday to mark the anniversary of the end of the "Sunflower Movement", which saw demonstrators occupy parliament for more than three weeks in a move that shook warming relations with Beijing.

Protesters linked hands and shouted slogans urging the government to "return power to the people" as they circled the parliament in Taipei in the latest show of opposition to increasing mainland influence.

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Taiwan President Says China Ties 'back to Normal' after Protests

Taiwan's embattled President Ma Ying-jeou said ties with China are "back to normal" after major protests against a trade pact with Beijing last year, despite continued public unease over mainland influence.

Relations with Beijing have warmed markedly since Ma came to power in 2008. But last March around 200 students occupied parliament for more than three weeks to demonstrate against the trade pact, while thousands rallied in support of what became known as the "Sunflower Movement".

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China Objects after U.S. Fighter Planes Land in Taiwan

China protested on Thursday after two American jet fighters landed at an air base in Taiwan, which Beijing regards as its own territory, reportedly for the first time in 30 years.

Two US F-18 fighter jets made an emergency landing at an airforce base in the southern city of Tainan on Wednesday, with U.S. authorities saying one of the planes had developed a mechanical failure.

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