When Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou come face to face in Singapore this Saturday, the two leaders will finally help build a virtual bridge between their respective nations across the Taiwan Strait. 

Xinping and Ma will shake hands at the historic meeting on 7 November, Chinese state-run media have prominently reported.  

The meeting is expected to herald the beginning of "direct exchange and communication between leaders of the mainland and Taiwan", which have been in deep freeze since 1949. 

With two days to go for the meeting, here are important details of the strained China-Taiwan relations:  

Is Taiwan part of China?

China thinks so. It considers Taiwan to be a renegade province that will eventually be integrated to the mainland, even by force if necessary. 

Why are China-Taiwan relations strained?

Ever since the Kuomintang (KMT) party lost the civil war to the Communist Party of China in 1949 and was relegated to the Taiwanese island, the two sides have each staked claim as the official Chinese government. 

While the United States and other major nations considered KMT's Republic of China government as the legitimate government for nearly three decades, the Taiwanese government later lost most of its diplomatic ties to the Communist government in mainland China. 

However, even though political relations between China and Taiwan remain shaky, the economic and trade relations have grown steadily. 

The two even entered an Economic Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010 to reduce tariffs on exports to each other. 

Relations have also slightly improved in the last eight years under the rule of current Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, who is considered to be more conciliatory towards Beijing. 

What will the meeting achieve?

The meeting is expected to help promote ties between the China and Taiwan, even though no concrete deals are likely to be signed. 

The two leaders are expected to "exchange views on promoting peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and discuss ways to improve cross-Strait cooperation and people's welfare", Xinhua reported. 

The Chinese media have reported that the Singapore meeting is likely to mark a move towards the 1992 Consensus for the One-China policy, when the two governments had come closest to being united under one state, but failed to reach an agreement on which government should be in power.

Why Singapore?

Singapore is one of the few nations to have maintained strong diplomatic and economic relations with both China and Taiwan. 

Singapore also reportedly supports the One-China policy, according to the Straits Times.

Is there opposition to the meeting?

Even as the Taiwanese government has cited"'peace and prosperity' and the development of cross-strait relations" as the driving force behind the meeting, it has been criticised at home for making the move just ahead of elections, with KMT likely to be trounced by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. 

Tsai Ing-wen, a presidential candidate in the January 2016 election for the Democratic Progressive Party, has strongly criticised the meeting. 

Several activists in Taiwan have come out in protest against the scheduled meeting, citing threat to Taiwan's independence and democracy. 

Sources: Agencies, Straits Times, Today Online, Xinhua, TIME