Chinese president Xi Jinping says reunifying the mainland and Taiwan is about ending political antagonism rather than about territories and sovereignty.

State media reported his remarks were made Friday when he met with a Taiwanese delegation of pro-reunification groups.

China's communist government has long sought to reclaim Taiwan, which it considers a renegade province. The nationalist government of the Republic of China retreated to the island in 1949 after losing a civil war to the Communists, and animosity toward the mainland's government has lingered in democratic Taiwan.

Xi said Beijing seeks peaceful reunification and will use the principle of "one country, two systems" for Taiwan, as it has done for the former British colony Hong Kong.