China taiwan
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou (L) during a summit in Singapore 7 November, 2015.Reuters

In a historic meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou shook hands in Singapore on Saturday, signalling the start of patching the fraught relations between both sides.

This is the first time that heads of the two governments across the Taiwan Strait have come face to face for such a meeting since 1949. Read why China, Taiwan relations have been strained

Referring to each other as 'Mister', as China and Taiwan do not consider each other's leaders as the representative of the state, Xi and Ma touched upon the 1992 Consensus when the two governments had come closest to being united under one state. 

"Today, I and Mr Xi are holding the future of the two sides across the Strait in history," The Taiwan leader said during the meeting in Singapore, according to CCTV News. 

"No matter the difficulties, no power can separate us because we are kinsmen; blood is thicker than water," the Chinese president reportedly said. 

Ever since the defeat of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, which ran the Republic of China government until its loss in the civil war to the Communist Party of China in 1949, the two sides have each staked claim as the official Chinese government. The KMT party was relegated to the Taiwanese island following the war. 

Ma reportedly suggested five proposals at the Singapore meeting to move towards 'peaceful development', citing the 1992 Consensus as the 'political foundation' for the cross-Straits relations. 

The Taiwan President called for an end to animosity and for establishing institutions and hotlines on each side for cooperation.