Top political advisor urges broader, deeper cross-Strait ties

15:07, June 20, 2010      

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Top political advisor Jia Qinglin on Sunday called for broader, deeper and larger-scale exchanges between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, saying that "party and regional differences are not an issue in cross-Strait exchanges."

Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks when addressing a centerpiece conference of the second Straits Forum, which opened in the mainland's coastal boomtown Xiamen Saturday.

"As long as people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait continue to forge close exchanges and interactions and reduce doubts and misunderstandings, (we) can reach more consensus on boosting the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties, promote our common recognition to the Chinese nation and culture, and contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," he said.

The week-long forum co-hosted by nine cities in Fujian Province has drawn more than 10,000 Taiwan guests to 25 activities including leisure chats, galas, and religious worship. Organizers said about 80 percent of the Taiwan participants this year would be non-officials and over 60 percent were from central or southern Taiwan.

Hailing progress made in cross-Strait ties in the past two years, Jia said a record high 5.4 million people from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan traveled across the Taiwan Strait in 2009, including 330,000 Taiwanese who had never been to the Chinese mainland before.

He welcomed more Taiwan compatriots to visit the Chinese mainland in the future to enhance their understanding of the mainland's social and economic development, and encouraged more mainlanders to travel to Taiwan, especially to the central and southern parts of the island.

Acknowledging that some Taiwan people still had insufficient understanding, or even misunderstandings, toward the Chinese mainland, Jia said "the more consensus people across the Taiwan Strait could reach, the better the two sides could resolve problems challenging cross-Strait ties."

The top political advisor also praised the role of the Straits Forum, now in its second year, in promoting exchanges between people of all circles across the Taiwan Strait, and the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.

He encouraged non-government organizations in both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to play a bigger role in promoting grassroots-level exchanges across the Strait.

Improved cross-Strait relations fit the interests and aspirations of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Jia said, adding that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, an economic pact similar to a free trade deal across the Taiwan Strait currently in discussion, would benefit the long-term development of both economies.

Source: Xinhua


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