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Home >> China
UPDATED: 17:00, April 26, 2005
KMT chairman arrives in Nanjing for mainland visit
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Chairman Lien Chan of the Kuomintang (KMT) party arrived in Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu Province at 16:40 Tuesday to begin an eight-day mainland visit.

This is the first time the chairman of the KMT party has landed foot on the mainland in more than half a century.

The KMT, China's ruling party from late 1920s to 1940s, left the mainland for the island province of Taiwan in 1949 when it lost a civil war.

Lien, at the invitation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and General Secretary Hu Jintao, will visit the mainland cities of Nanjing, Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai from April 26 to May 3.

Lien is scheduled to meet with Hu during the trip, the first meeting between top leaders of the two parties in 60 years.

The last one took place in August 1945, when CPC Chairman Mao Zedong and KMT Chairman Chiang Kai-Shek met in Chongqing, a major city in southwest China, to negotiate an end to the civil war.

Nanjing, the first leg of Lien's visit, was once the capital of the KMT regime. Xi'an is the birthplace of Lien.

When the KMT described Lien's visit a "journey of peace," Lien said in Taiwan on Monday that "cross-Straits exchanges should no longer be hampered by the mindset of civil war." He expressed the hope that his visit could lay the groundwork for improved relations and closer trade links across the Taiwan Straits.

Source: Xinhua

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