Xi sends warm greetings as Ma visits Wuhan

By LI LEI (Chinadaily.com.cn) 08:34, March 31, 2023

Song Tao, a senior Taiwan affairs official of the Chinese mainland, conveyed warm greetings from Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, while meeting on Thursday with Ma Ying-jeou in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Song, head of the Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, fully affirmed Ma's important contribution to the development of cross-Straits relations.

Song said that compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are one big family and should adhere to the 1992 Consensus, actively promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, continuously enhance the well-being of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, and firmly oppose separatist activities of "Taiwan independence" and interference by external forces.

He also called on both sides to jointly maintain peace and stability across the Straits, safeguard the overall interests of the Chinese nation, and unite and strive for the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Ma expressed his gratitude for Xi's greetings. He also said that compatriots on both sides of the Straits belong to the Chinese nation as a whole and should work together to promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, promote the sustainable peace and prosperity of both sides, enhance the well-being of Chinese people on both sides and jointly revitalize China.

Medical workers praised

Ma, former chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang party, also praised the measures adopted by the mainland to fight COVID-19 and expressed hope for more cross-Straits cooperation in the health sector.

While visiting Wuhan, a city hit hard by COVID-19 in early 2020, Ma paid tribute to the mainland's medical workers for their sacrifice and dedication, and he said that the construction of makeshift hospitals to quarantine confirmed COVID-19 patients and their close contacts was a "pioneering move".

Wuhan's effective COVID control measures at an early stage prevented a large-scale spread of the virus, which was a contribution not only to the mainland but also to the whole of humanity, he said.

Ma made the remarks as he and a group of Taiwan students were visiting an exhibition on Wuhan's battle against COVID-19. More than 380 photos and 280 items are on display at the six-part exhibition, alongside 29 sets of multimedia illustrations.

Among the exhibits are photos and videos showing infected Taiwan compatriots receiving effective medical treatment on the mainland and those who donated blood plasma after recovering.

Ma told Xinhua News Agency that the COVID-19 prevention and control efforts by the mainland at the early stage of the outbreak helped limit the scale of the spread outside its borders and were "extremely admirable".

Ma also said that the mainland and Taiwan have signed agreements on medical cooperation and that prospects for such cooperation are broad. He expressed hope for the full implementation of these agreements.

On Wednesday, Wang Menghui, Party secretary of Hubei province, met in Wuhan with the group led by Ma.

Wang said that young people are the most active force in cross-Straits exchanges, and he welcomes young people from Taiwan to study, work and live in Hubei and to promote the exchanges and cooperation between Hubei and the island.

Hubei-Taiwan exchanges

Wang also said that Hubei has continuously deepened practical cooperation between the two sides. It has formulated a series of Taiwan-friendly policies and measures and created conditions for development and provided convenience for Taiwan businesspeople in Hubei.

A number of well-known Taiwan enterprises are running businesses in Hubei, which has maintained the momentum of economic and social development in recent years, he added.

Hubei will continue to bear in mind that people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one family, and will respect, care for and bring benefits to Taiwan compatriots in the province, Wang said. He added that the province will also promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two sides and improve the well-being of people across the Straits.

Ma thanked Hubei for its warm reception and care for Taiwan businesspeople and students in the province.

He said that in recent years, Hubei has made great efforts to promote high-quality economic and social development, and the interaction with Taiwan has become increasingly intensive, which has contributed a lot to the promotion of cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation.

He noted that the first student exchange event during his trip to the mainland will be held at Wuhan University, which has the reputation of having one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.

Ma said he hopes young people on both sides of the Straits will have more contact and friendship, so that they can understand each other and enjoy a deeper friendship.

The group's stay in Wuhan was part of Ma's trip to visit his ancestral home on the mainland on the occasion of Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, which falls on Wednesday. The 12-day visit, which started on Monday, will also take him to Changsha, Hunan province, as well as Chongqing and Shanghai.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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