Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, Ma Ying-jeou, president of Taiwan, right.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, Ma Ying-jeou, president of Taiwan, right.

(CNN) The leaders of Taiwan and China plan to meet in Singapore on Saturday, according to state media in both countries.

The meeting between Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be the first of its kind since 1949, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported.

Citing senior government officials, the agency said the two leaders did not expect to sign any agreement, but plan to discuss peace.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency confirmed news of the meeting early Wednesday, citing a mainland Taiwan affairs official in Beijing.

The Foreign Ministry previously announced that Xi would be in Singapore on Saturday and Sunday at the invitation of President Tony Tan.

Taiwan split from mainland China in 1949 after Nationalist forces lost the civil war to the Communists and fled the mainland, but Beijing still considers the island a breakaway province. China has warned that a formal declaration of independence could lead to military intervention and reportedly has missiles pointed at the island nation.

Despite this rift, China is Taiwan’s biggest trade partner, hundreds of flights go between the two nations each week and Chinese banks now operate on the island, while some Taiwanese companies have factories in China.

Ma, head of the Kuomintang party, has been a key driver in forging closer ties since he came to power in a 2008 election.

Still, major tensions persist — which is why having the heads of state from both countries meet face to face is a big deal.