China plays up visit by senior Taiwan figure, showing desire to nudge island closer to Beijing

China's state media is devoting blanket coverage to the visit by a senior figure in Taiwan's ruling party in a sign of its desire to nudge the island closer to Beijing.

Coverage of a meeting between Lien Chan and Chinese President Xi Jinping dominated the front pages of official newspapers Wednesday and led state broadcaster CCTV's news report.

Though their discussions contained little of substance and broke no new ground, the reports indicated a desire to play up Lien's role in boosting contacts across the Taiwan Strait. Lien is honorary chairman of the ruling Nationalist Party and a former premier and vice president.

Lien's visit follows the first-ever high-level talks last week between officials of the two governments since China and Taiwan split during civil war in 1949.