BEIJING, Feb. 18 -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the Chinese mainland respects the social system and lifestyle that Taiwan compatriots have chosen.
Xi made the remarks while meeting with Lien Chan, honorary chairman of Taiwan's Kuomintang party, on Tuesday afternoon.
Noting that Taiwan compatriots have their own mentality due to the island's unique history and social environment, Xi said that "we completely understand how Taiwan compatriots feel".
"Family affection will help heal past wounds and sincerity will help resolve existing problems," Xi said, adding that the mainland has patience and confidence.
"It has never changed, and will never change that we belong to one nation," he said.
"We are willing to share the mainland's development opportunities with Taiwan compatriots," Xi said.
Lien, also chairman of a foundation on cross-Strait peaceful development, is on a visit to Beijing from Monday to Thursday.