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Mainland, Taiwan mark 20th anniversary of "Wang-Koo meeting"


10:02, April 29, 2013

TAIPEI, April 28 (Xinhua) -- A symposium was held Sunday in Taipei to mark the 20th anniversary of the historic "Wang-Koo meeting," which laid the foundation for peaceful development of relations between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

In April 1993, Wang Daohan, head of the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), and Koo Chen-fu, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), met in Singapore, paving the way for the improvement of the cross-Strait ties.

Founded in 1990 and 1991, respectively, the SEF and the ARATS are the non-governmental organizations authorized by Taiwan and the mainland to engage in cross-Strait talks.

At Sunday's symposium, which was organized by the Taipei Forum Foundation, Sun Yafu, vice director of the mainland's State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said the historic meeting replaced confrontation with dialogue.

The meeting established a common principle of gradually settling problems through negotiation, Sun said.

"To conduct negotiation, the two sides must adhere to the '1992 Consensus.' Opposing 'Taiwan independence' and adhering to the '1992 Consensus' represent a common political foundation for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations," said Sun.

Cross-Strait relations will always develop in a sound manner, no matter what difficulties and hardships come along, Sun said.

He said the mainland's policies and measures regarding Taiwan have proven to be effective, adding that the mainland will strive to steadily improve cross-Strait ties in an all-around way.

Sun said the mainland hopes the two sides will create conditions for political negotiations while dealing with their differences.

Since official political negotiations between the two sides have not yet taken place, he said discussions between civilians from both sides should be fostered in order to eliminate misunderstanding.

Wu Po-hsiung, the honorary chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), said the hard-earned "cross-Strait dividends" should be treasured and mainland-Taiwan relations should never be reversed.

Wu said Taiwan should make rational considerations and build a consensus.

"How cross-Strait relations evolve is crucial to the people of both sides, especially Taiwanese people and their descendants," said Wu.

Former deputy leader of Taiwan Vincent Siew also praised the historic nature of the meeting.

He said the two sides should plan for the consolidation of the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait.

Liu Chao-shiuan, former head of Taiwan's executive body, delivered a speech at the symposium.

Dozens of academics and officials from the mainland and Taiwan, including SEF Chairman Lin Join-sane and his predecessor Chiang Pin-kung, gathered at the event and raised suggestions for the future development of cross-Strait relations.

Lin Join-sane said the mainland and Taiwan should continue to push for the peaceful, stable and prosperous development of cross-Strait relations.

Lin said cross-Strait relations have made significant progress in multiple areas.

He noted that negotiations on cross-Strait service trade have ended, while those concerning the trade of goods are in progress.

The SEF will hold a high-level ceremony on April 29 to commemorate the meeting.

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