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UPDATED: 10:14, May 01, 2005
Hu-Lien meeting evokes worldwide applause
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The international community has made warm responses since General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Hu Jintao and visiting Chairman Lien Chan of the Kuomintang (KMT) party of China held their historic meeting in Beijing Friday.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "We believe cross-Straits dialogue is important to promoting peace and stability in the region" and the United States will "continue working with the parties in the region and continue to encourage them to engage in dialogue to promote peace and stability in the region."

European Commission spokesperson Emma Udwin said: "We welcome the first step. We hope this is far from a full story, we hope this would prove to be a first step to a positive direction."

Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper said the CPC and KMT leaders found common ground against "Taiwan independence" in their talks.

In the joint press communique, the two sides called for reinstating cross-Straits dialogue, putting an end to hostilities and signing a peace treaty. An opportunity is looming for easing tensions across the Taiwan Straits.

Similar views were carried in other Japanese newspapers such as Mainichi, Tokyo Shimbun and Yomiuri, which holds the KMT will handle the cross-Straits relations according to the joint communique if it wins the 2008 elections in Taiwan. It may herald a quick warming of political and other ties, according to Yomiuri.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais published a cross-column article Saturday, highlighting the Hu-Lien handshake in Beijing. It said the historic meeting signifies "joint efforts of the CPC and the KMT against the 'Taiwan independence' trend."

The London-based Financial Times viewed the Hu-lien meeting as an end to decades of hostilities between the CPC and the KMT, saying the two parties have reached unprecedented reconciliation.

The Guardian newspaper praised Hu and Lien for their commitment to common efforts to break the impasse across the Taiwan Straits, viewing the efforts as beneficial to peaceful development in east Asia.

Meanwhile, overseas Chinese voiced heart-felt congratulations on and support for the Beijing meeting, which they said have dealt a heavy blow at secessionists in Taiwan.

In Washington, The National Association for China's Unification said in a statement that the leaders of the two parties have defined the common ground of sticking to the "1992 Consensus," opposing "independence of Taiwan," seeking cross-Straits stability, promoting the development of cross-Straits relations and safeguarding the interests of the people on both sides of the Straits.

Overseas Chinese in Australia said in their statement: the Hu-Lien meeting stands for a new phase in the relations of the two parties, which have expressed common desire and determination to promote the cross-Strait ties and open up prospects for the future of the nation as a whole.

Elsewhere in South Africa, Hungary, Myanmar and Cambodia, overseas Chinese hailed likewise the landmark meeting between the two party leaders, expecting a step forward in the course of reunification.

Lien Chan, leading a KMT delegation, kicked off a week-long visit to China's mainland on Tuesday, the first by a top KMT leader since 1949.

James Soong, chairman of Taiwan's People First Party, is scheduled to follow Lien's suit on May 5-12.

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