China's top leader Hu Jintao Saturday called for closer personnel, economic and cultural exchanges between the mainland and Taiwan to curb Taiwan secessionist activities and maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait.
Hu, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), made the remark in meeting with participants attending the third cross-Strait economic, trade and cultural forum at the Great Hall of the People.
Hu said mainland's robust economic growth has offered more opportunities, stronger impetus and better conditions for cross-Strait economic exchanges and cooperation.
"To promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation, improve the well-being of the people across the Strait and boost the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation are the common will of the people and the prevailing trend," Hu said.
About 500 participants from the mainland and Taiwan attended the two-day forum, which opened in Beijing Saturday morning.
Participants will exchange views on issues including direct flights across the Taiwan Strait, and cooperation in education and tourism between the two sides.
Hu said the topics of the forum reflected the common aspiration of people from across the Taiwan Strait to enhance exchanges and expand cooperation, and also demonstrated the will of the CPC and the Chinese Kuomintang Party to promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.
Hu met Lien Chan, then KMT chairman, for the first time in April 2005. The meeting was hailed as epoch-making.
They met again in April 2006 at the cross-Strait economic, trade and cultural forum, both underscoring the peaceful development of relations between the two sides.
Lien, KMT honorary chairman, said the CPC and the KMT have jointly hosted a series of forums and seminars on cross-Strait economic, cultural and agricultural exchanges over the past two years.
He said the exchanges have helped improve the well-being of the people across the Strait, especially the Taiwan people.
The KMT will continue to work as a bridge to push forward the cross-Strait relations through dialogues and consultations, said Lien, when addressing the participants.
Hu and Lien also had a brief meeting before they jointly met the participants.