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Xi touts cross-Straits ties

(China Daily)

09:33, April 09, 2013

Vincent C. Siew, chairman of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation in Taipei, talks at a news briefing about his meeting with President Xi Jinping in Boao, Hainan province, on Monday. ZHANG HAO / CHINA NEWS SERVICE

President Xi Jinping called for long-term cooperation to boost cross-Straits ties when he met with Vincent C. Siew, honorary chairman of the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation on Monday.

Compatriots from the mainland and Taiwan are part of a family, and people from both sides should keep that in mind while boosting economic cooperation, Xi said.

Xi made the remarks while meeting with Siew during the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, held in the coastal town Boao, Hainan province.

Xi said many of the members in Siew's delegation are acquaintances of his whom he met when he worked in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces and Shanghai.

During the meeting, Xi expressed his desire to enhance cross-Straits economic cooperation and promote high-level dialogue in economic sectors.

The development of cross-Straits ties should focus on long-term benefits, and compatriots on both sides should work together to rejuvenate the Chinese nation, he said.

Siew said that cross-Straits ties witnessed rapid growth in the past five years, and authorities from both sides should cherish the achievements and efforts.

Siew met with then-president Hu Jintao at the Boao Forum in 2008, when Siew was the chairman of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation. At the meeting, Siew expressed his wish to set aside disputes and pursue win-win goals related to cross-Straits ties.

Five years is just a short blip in history, but a key step for the development of cross-Straits ties, Siew said on Monday.

Both sides should enhance mutual trust and strengthen cooperation to make more progress in the peaceful development of relations, Siew said.

Cross-Straits trade reached a historic high of $168.96 billion in 2012, and the mainland's investment in Taiwan increased tenfold in 2012 compared with the previous year, according to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

Zhang Zhijun, minister of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Sunday that the mainland authorities will continue to improve the cross-Straits ties to boost wider communication.

Zhang said that a recent poll in Taiwan showed that about 56 percent of Taiwan people welcomed him to visit Taiwan, which reflected their expectation of developing better cross-Straits relations.

He made the remarks during a reception banquet attended by Siew on Sunday, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Zhang, a former senior diplomat who got his current post on March 17, said that he felt good about working for Taiwan affairs.

"Now I don't need any interpreter while making speeches and don't need to prepare forks and knives during reception banquets," he said. "In a word, the feeling of being part of a whole family is quite good."

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