Taiwan ruling party leader meets China's president ahead of elections next year

The head of Taiwan's ruling party has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of the continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.

Nationalist chairman Eric Chu reaffirmed his party's support for the goal of eventual unification between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing island democracy. The two leaders met Monday in Beijing.

Chu, a likely candidate for the island's presidency in next year's election, also reaffirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join under a name that might imply it is an independent country.

The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides.