CHANGSHA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The fifth Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Culture Forum kicked off in Changsha, capital of central Hunan Province, on Saturday.
Wu Poh-hsiung, chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, said at the opening of the forum that communications, exchanges and integration on the cultural platform play a key role in making further and substantial breakthroughs in mainland-Taiwan relations.
The forum, with its focus on promoting and deepening cross-Straits cultural and educational communications and cooperation, is of historic and practical significance, Wu said.
Wu also called for an expansion of communication and cooperation areas between the mainland and Taiwan and urged people on both sides to cherish the hard-won achievements made in cross-Straits communications.
He urged efforts to work for the welfare and interests of people on both sides and called for new impetus to drive forward the development of cross-Straits relations.
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made a speech at the opening ceremony, in which he underlined the importance of Chinese culture inheritance, complementary collaboration of cultural industries between the mainland and Taiwan.
Wang Yi, director of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Taiwan Work Office, said the forum are in line with the common aspirations of people in the mainland and Taiwan and conforms to the development trend of cross-Straits relations.
About 530 politicians, businessmen, experts in culture and education sectors participated in the two-day forum, including about 270 from Taiwan.