Taiwan`s ex-security chief confirms secret China channels

Taiwan and China used sensitive channels to build trust between foes.

Taipei: Taiwan`s former security chief has confirmed for the first time that Taipei and Beijing used secret communication channels from 2008 as they worked to thaw glacial ties, it was reported on Sunday.

Su Chi, who was chief of the National Security Council until earlier this year, said in an interview with the Taipei-based United Daily News that the sensitive channels helped build trust between the long-time foes.

He said the National Security Council did not talk directly to authorities on the mainland, but declined to provide details of the secret channels.

"In my office, there were no hotlines. I did not contact them directly. It would have been too risky."

Taiwan`s ties with its giant neighbour have improved markedly since President Ma Ying-jeou came to power in 2008, pledging to boost trade links and allowing in more Chinese tourists.

Taiwan has governed itself since 1949 at the end of a civil war. However, Beijing still considers Taiwan part of its territory and maintains its right to use force should the island move to declare formal independence.