Wang Daohan, 90, the longtime head of China's agency that deals with rival Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, died Saturday in a Shanghai hospital of unspecified causes.
Wang, the former Communist Party secretary for Shanghai, served as president of the Assn. for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits since it was founded in 1991 to oversee Beijing's relations with Taiwan.
In 1993, Wang met his Taiwanese counterpart, the late Koo Chen-fu, in Singapore in the first high-level talks between the two sides since they split in 1949 amid civil war.
The two sides have no official diplomatic relations. Beijing claims the democratic island of Taiwan as part of its territory.
Wang was a former economics professor at Peking University in Beijing and at Fudan and Tongji universities in Shanghai.