China, Taiwan sign formal agreement on charter flights, tourism

Negotiators from Taiwan and China have signed a formal agreement to expand charter flights and increase tourism. Representatives from the two sides signed the agreement Friday, during their first formal talks in almost a decade. The accord was a step toward restoring transport links severed 59 years ago. The agreement came on the second day of talks between Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and its mainland counterpart, the first formal talks between the sides since 1999. It lends strong momentum to efforts to build confidence and spur cooperation between the rivals, which divided amid civil war in 1949 and whose relationship has veered from strained to outright hostile.