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China-Taiwan talks seek to maintain momentum for closer ties, amid skepticism among public

China's Taiwan Affairs Office director Zhang Zhijun, left, and his counterpart Minister Andrew Hsia of the Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council shake hands in front of the media as they arrive for the start of a two-day cross-strait meeting, Saturday, May 23, 2015, on the outlying island of Kinmen, Taiwan. Zhang is meeting with Hsia to discuss various cross-strait issues, including Taiwan’s interest in joining China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the latest trade agreements between both sides. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

China's Taiwan Affairs Office director Zhang Zhijun, left, and his counterpart Minister Andrew Hsia of the Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council shake hands in front of the media as they arrive for the start of a two-day cross-strait meeting, Saturday, May 23, 2015, on the outlying island of Kinmen, Taiwan. Zhang is meeting with Hsia to discuss various cross-strait issues, including Taiwan’s interest in joining China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the latest trade agreements between both sides. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT  (The Associated Press)

Negotiators from Taiwan and China have met for talks on a range of issues in an attempt to maintain momentum for the forging of closer ties in the face of a skeptical Taiwanese public.

Saturday's talks resulted in no firm agreements but underscored Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's determination to prove that engagement with China can help the local economy.

Ministerial-level officials from both sides met on the tiny Taiwan-controlled island of Kinmen, just off the Chinese coast, where the rivals fought bloody military battles in the 1950s and 1960s.

Taiwan's Cabinet-level negotiating body, the Mainland Affairs Council, said topics discussed included controlling the illegal excavation of sand from the ocean floor, opening outlying Taiwanese islets to more China-based tourism and letting Chinese tourists make transit stops in Taiwan.