2008-06-12 07:32:06 GMT 2008-06-12 15:32:06 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
BEIJING, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Talks between the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Chinese mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) will produce practical results, said Chiao Jen-ho, former SEF vice chairman and secretary-general, on Thursday.
"The SEF-ARATS talks are facing a favorable environment that we had never imagined before," Chiao told Xinhua in a telephone interview.
ARATS chairman Chen Yunlin met with his SEF counterpart Chiang Pin-kun in Beijing on Thursday morning and the two organizations held their first talks after a suspension of nine years.
It was a "down-to-earth and right" attitude that the two sides would pick easier problems first and start with economic issues, Chiao said. "I believe the talks will produce practical results."
According to the schedule, they will talk about two issues: cross-Strait weekend chartered flights and mainland tourist travel to Taiwan.
"Results of the SEF-ARATS talks are expected," Chiu Chin-yi, another former SEF vice chairman and secretary-general, was quoted as saying by Hong Kong-based Tai Kung Pao newspaper on Wednesday.
The talks would not be so difficult as the first meeting in Singapore in 1993, also called the Wang-Koo meeting, said Chiu, a participant at the time.
Chiao said he was glad to see the talks resume.
The Taiwan people were fully aware that "Taiwan Independence" would not work and peace would benefit both sides, he said. "We need communication and exchanges. To resume talks across the Taiwan Strait is key to the development of cross-Strait relations."
The dialogue between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT), had laid a favorable foundation for building trust between both sides, which finally led to the resumption of SEF-ARATS talks, he said.
In 2005, then KMT chairman Lien Chan visited the mainland. Its present chairman Wu Poh-hsiung toured the mainland from May 26 to May 31 this year. They both met with President Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
"We should learn lessons from past setbacks and seize this new opportunity," Chiao said. "The two sides should shelve their differences and seek a common ground, and not let them fettered by tiny issues."