Two senior mainland officials traveled to Taiwan for the funeral of the island's top negotiator with Beijing. The visit was the first by senior mainland officials to the island in more than six years. Sun Yafu and Li Yafei said they were the "personal representatives" of Wang Daohan, the top Chinese negotiator with Taiwan, who had sent them to the island to attend the ceremony of his Taiwan counterpart, Koo Chen-fu, who died of kidney cancer in early January. The two men held a landmark meeting in Singapore in 1993 in what was the first formal high-level contact between officials from the two rivals since they split in 1949. They last met in Beijing in 1998, but Beijing suspended talks after then-Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui declared the two sides should have "special state-to-state relations" – a status Beijing saw as a step towards formal independence.
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