Tue, May 26, 2009
China > HK/Taiwan

Cross-Straits talks continue progress

2009-05-26 00:56:19 GMT2009-05-26 08:56:19 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (L, Front), receives a gift, a Beijing opera mask of Guanyu who is general serving under the warlord Liubei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China, at Huguang Guildhall in Beijing, capital of China, on May 25, 2009. [Xinhua]

Wu Poh-hsiung (2nd R, Back), Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman, poses with performers of Beijing opera while visiting the Huguang Guildhall in Beijing, capital of China, on May 25, 2009. A KMT delegation headed by Wu arrived in Beijing on Monday for an visit on the mainland.[Xinhua]

Jia Qinglin (R), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, shakes hands with Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 25, 2009.[Xinhua]

Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang Chairman (KMT) Wu Poh-hsiung, left, is greeted by Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, at Beijing airport on May 25, 2009. [Xinhua]

Wu Poh-hsiung, Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman, visits the Huguang Guildhall in Beijing, capital of China, on May 25, 2009. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang Chairman (KMT) Wu Poh-hsiung arrived in Beijing Monday seeking closer cross-Straits ties.

Wu's eight-day visit was to include a meeting today with Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Wu said leaders of the KMT and CPC would review exchanges and interactions during the past year and said he hoped to reach an understanding on promoting cross-Straits relations.

Wu told reporters in Taipei he would focus on building economic and commercial ties with the mainland, said US based Associated Press.

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) met Wu yesterday afternoon.

Jia said Wu's visit was "a significant event" in inter-party communications and in the cross-Straits relationship.

He said the meeting between Hu and Wu today was likely to achieve significant results, promote political trust between the two parties and boost positive interaction across the Straits.

Wang Yi, director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said Wu's visit "will be the most important event in this year's cross-Straits relations" coming on the first anniversary of the "historical turn of the cross-Straits relationship".

Wang said it comes at a time when people across the straits are working together to combat the financial crisis.

"Leaders will talk about this issue at the coming meeting."

The meeting between Hu and Wu will be their second coming-together as heads of CPC and with KMT as Taiwan's ruling party. They first met last May when Kuomintang won the election.

During the last meeting, both sides called for an early resumption in exchanges and talks through the semi-official mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and Taiwan-based Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF), which ceased 10 years ago.

Three rounds of ARATS-SEF talks led to direct shipping, flights, postal service, two-way investment and travel via nine agreements and one consensus.

Taiwan media said Wu's visit may help bring about a regularized meeting between the heads of the two parties.

According to Taiwan media, if Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan's current "president" takes over the KMT chairmanship in July, it may usher in the first meeting between him and CPC leader Hu Jintao.

Wu Nengyuan, director of the Fujian-based Institute of Taiwan Studies said the KMT is certain a warmer cross-Straits relationship, especially with closer economic ties, is important to the party and the public.

The cross-Straits relationship has improved greatly in the past year. Problems can only be solved through communication, while confrontation makes things worse, the expert said.

Wu Poh-hsiung said his visit "will be a chance to review cross-Straits interactions in the past year and exchange ideas frankly and in a friendly way".

Wu will head to the southwestern Chongqing Municipality and visit Hangzhou city in the Zhejiang Province and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. He will also attend activities to commemorate Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a founder of the Kuomintang, in Nanjing on June 1.

In Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou urged progress in the signing of an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with the mainland to cut taxes on petrochemical, automobile, textile and machinery exports to mainland.

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