At three o'clock on the afternoon of April 29, 2005, there appeared a moment that flashed into the annals of history: In the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and Lien Chan, chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) Party, clasped their hands tightly. This is the first handshake by the top leaders of the KMT and the CPC after an interval of 60 years, it marks the entry of bilateral party relationship into a new stage of development and is a historic moment bringing springtime information relating to the future of the two sides across the Straits.
It was not long before when Mr. Yu Yu-jen, a veteran of the KMT, lamented: "I cannot but weep bitterly as I can't see the mainland��." giving vent to his sorrow over the complete separation of the two sides across the Straits; Poet Yu Kuang-chung's lines read "Homesickness is caused by a shallow bay of the Straits/I'm on this end/while the mainland is over that end", pouring out his bitterness caused by the separation between the two sides of the Straits. What's more, there have arisen the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces over the past 20 years in Taiwan Island, they incited a "sorrowful feeling" and provoked "provinciality" disputes, and drove a wedge between the Taiwan people and the mainlanders, in a vain attempt to push their comprehensive "desinicization". Under their professed hegemony, the islanders feel it hard even to speak out "I'm a Chinese". As their attempt for "Taiwan independence" is going ever furious, the severe situation of cross-Strait relations has aroused the anxiety and concern from the region of the Taiwan Straits and the international community.
For the sake of the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation, the Communist Party and China transcends historical grievances, so the CPC Central Committee and General Secretary Hu Jintao sent out an invitation to Lien Chan, chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang Party, who acknowledges the "92 Consensus", this shows their largeness of mind and tolerant spirit. Chairman Lien Chan, defying the converging attack and slander by the separatist forces on the Island, led the KMT visiting delegation, thus taking a historic step forward, his courage has won him rounds of applause and respect. The moment of handshake that took place after passing through a period of 60 years and crossing the Taiwan Straits made people sensitively feel that the page of grievances-entangled history has been leafed through. For the well-being of the people on both sides of the Straits, the CPC and the KMT have the resolve to seek common ground while reserving differences, thus bringing fresh hopes and boost for the unity of the big Chinese family.
The moment of handshake between the two parties' top leaders has also enhanced the self-confidence of all the daughters and sons of the Chinese nation worldwide. The KMT and the CPC can come together by surmounting political and historical obstacles, the Chinese have the wisdom and capability to properly solve their own problems. The mainland can directly come to know the thoughts and feelings of Taiwan people through Taiwan's political parties, organizations and representative personages, Taiwan does not need to serve as a chess piece of any powers by making a detour. Through the handshake this time, people are happy to see that the two parties in their talks indicated that they would establish a platform for regular communications and would jointly bring about a rapid resumption of cross-Strait negotiations.
A careful reading of the "common wishes for cross-Strait peaceful development" issued by General Secretary Hu Jintao and Chairman Lien Chan after their talks, the political problems to the concern of the Taiwan people, such as promoting the resumption of cross-Strait negotiation, promoting an end to the hostile state, and promoting exchange and equal consultation, each of which gives hopes and tremendous expectation rooms to people who cherish good wishes for cross-Strait relations, people are filled with confidence in this new hope.
In these days filled with springtime atmosphere, people naturally recall the same day 12 years ago when the first dialog-the Wang-Koo talk that took place after 40-year-long separation between the two sides of the Straits, came to a successful end. The two old men, Wang Daohan and Koo Chen-fu, showed to the world people that the Chinese between the two sides are equally learned, refined and calm. Regrettably, the "two-states theory" dished out by Lee Teng-hui in 1999 undermined the foundation for talks between ARATS (Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits) and SEF (Straits Exchange Foundation) and made the sound about wang-koo talks no more heard after the wang-koo meeting in shanghai in 1998. Let bygone be bygone, the future is yet for us to shape. People of the world are still waiting to see whether this time the Taiwan authorities can grasp the good opportunity appeared in cross-Strait relation, whether they can correctly treat the "common aspirations" of the KMT and the CPC, comply with the common wishes of the people between the two sides of the Straits for mutual trust and mutual help and a win-win result, and observe the international community's expectations for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait situation.
Published on the front page of People's Daily (Overseas Edition) on April 30, this article is translated by People's Daily Online