TAIPEI (Reuters) - Chinese President Hu Jintao sent Taiwan counterpart Ma Ying-jeou a telegram on Monday applauding his election as party chief, the first direct communication between leaders of the two sides since the civil war ended in 1949. Taiwans Nationalist Party (KMT) elected Ma as chief on Sunday, giving him more control of the islands China policy at a time when ties are warming. I hope our two parties can continue to promote peaceful cross-Strait development, deepen mutual trust, bring good news to compatriots on both sides and create a revival of the great Chinese race, Hu, who is also chairman of the Communist Party of China, said in the 73-word message in Chinese. China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedongs Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-sheks KMT fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary. Ma was elected president in May 2008 on pledges to open more trade channels with China. The two sides have signed landmark trade and transit deals since then but avoided political issues. Both Hu and Ma are simultaneously chairmen of ruling parties as well as presidents, so that is significant, said Raymond Wu, an analyst from political risk consulting firm eTelligence in Taipei. Ma answered Hu on Monday, repeating the Chinese leaders ideas and suggesting that they put aside disputes. Hus telegram suggests that the Chinese leader eventually wants to meet, one analyst said. Its sort of expected, said Lin Chong-pin, a strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taipei. It is in Hu Jintaos benefit or advantage to meet. It would be a personal feat. Hes going to retire in 2012. He may get a peace prize. Mas election and Hus subsequent telegram helped boost Taiwan stocks which rose 0.79 percent on Monday to end above 7,000 points for the first time in 11 months. Mas appointment as KMT chairman paves the way for a meeting with Chinas communist party leader Hu, but a meeting between the two could take years as both sides calculate the risks, analysts say. The KMT and Hus Communists have been meeting informally since 2005, but Ma, mindful of the islands sustained anti-China opposition, has avoided the meetings.