Both President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan have deep links with Taiwan. After all, Xi spent 17 years in Fujian province , the beachhead of the mainland's contact with what it regards as a "renegade" province, rising from a deputy mayor to governor. Xi visited a pilot free-trade area to boost trade with Taiwan in the Fujian island of Pingtan numerous times during his tenure there, showing his strong interest in finding a way to build bridges with Taiwan, according to mainland media. He also led neighbouring Zhejiang for five years, the favoured province where many Taiwanese have set up businesses. "Among the leaders of the five generations, Xi is undoubtedly the most knowledgeable about Taiwan," wrote Agnes Andresy in Xi Jinping: Red China, the Next Generation . Read more: Full coverage of Xi-Ma summit Xi's wife was also believed to have relatives in Taiwan, ties that reportedly led to her parents' persecution during the Cultural Revolution. Peng had an uncle in the Taiwanese city of Chiayi. The uncle, a Kuomintang veteran, fled to Taiwan after 1949 and Taiwanese authorities have stopped media from disturbing the man, mainland and Taiwanese media reported earlier. After a meeting in 2013, KMT honorary chairman Wu Po-hsiung also cited Xi as saying that he had a relative in Taiwan. In a move that shocked the world, Xi wrote himself into history with his landmark summit with Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Saturday. It was the first meeting between both sides' top leaders since civil war ended in 1949. While much of the attention in Xi's three-year rule - he marks his third anniversary in exactly a week - has focused on his foreign policy and anti-graft drive, cross-strait ties are now back on top of the agenda. "The Xi-Ma meeting shows Xi's … vision to improve political relations between the two sides in a bold and innovative way," said analyst Chen Gang from Singapore's East Asian Institute. Read more: Xi-Ma summit sets new one-China 'status quo' test for Taiwan's next leader, analysts say Nothing substantive came out of the meeting. But that was never the objective. The meeting itself was all that mattered. "This is a major breakthrough … though the meeting [had] little substance," said Li Mingjiang from Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Xi has made his mark, backing up a 2013 promise to be "courageous" in cross-strait ties. History will tell if his bravery pays off.