HONG KONG -- Little more than a month after China's passage of its antisecession law, the cross-strait situation has undergone a remarkable change. While there has been some negative fallout, with Taiwan delaying talks on expanding chartered flights between the two sides and banning journalists from two mainland news organizations, the People's Daily and Xinhua News Agency, there have also been some remarkably positive developments.

Lien Chan, the chairman of Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang, or Nationalist party, went to mainland China this week at the invitation of the Chinese Communist Party. He was to be received by President Hu Jintao, general secretary of the communist party.

The visit is fraught with symbolism as the Kuomintang was China's ruling party until 1949 -- when the Communists won the civil war. It was Taiwan's ruling party from 1949 until 2000 -- when Chen Shui-bian won the presidential election. Since the Kuomintang is now in opposition, any reconciliation between it and the communist party will not end the standoff between China and Taiwan.