The hotline between China and Taiwan, discussed during the historic meeting in November in Singapore between the leaders of the two countries, came into function on Wednesday, 30 December.

New Year wishes were exchanged on the first call, which was between Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, and Andrew Hsia, head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang.

The Chinese spokesperson also said the two senior officials discussed the achievements of the two governments in cementing friendly relations, such as tourism and trade policies.

No comment regarding conversations between the two officials was forthcoming from the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council, though it confirmed that the call took place.

In the November meeting, the Chinese president had appealed to people's emotions, saying: "Nothing can separate us. We are one family. We are brothers who are still connected by our flesh even if our bones are broken."

Even though measures to bridge the almost-seven-decade-long conflict have been taken, reports of the US making a $1.83 billion arms deal with Taiwan elicited criticism from China earlier this month.

China and Taiwan have held contentious positions over which government should assume responsibility of the mainland. China believes Taiwan to be a breakaway part of it, which will be eventually united.

The diplomatic manoeuvres taken up by Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, ahead of the elections slated in January, has been criticised by the Taiwanese people, who do not want the state to merge with China.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is in favour of an independent Taiwan, is expected to win the January elections, reports DNA.