|Hu says opportunity for cross-Strait relations should be cherished|
BEIJING, May 28 (Xinhua) -- General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Hu Jintao met with Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon.
Hu said that with the joint efforts of the CPC and KMT, and of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, the political situation in Taiwan has gone through positive changes, and the cross-Strait relationship faces a precious opportunity.
"We should cherish this hard-earned situation," said Hu.
It is the first meeting between chiefs of the two parties since positive changes took place in Taiwan.
Hu invited Wu to attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Wu thanked him and accepted the invitation with pleasure.
Hu said currently, reopening the cross-strait talks and to achieve substantial results constitutes an important indication of the improvement and development of the cross-strait relations.
He called for resuming exchanges and talks, based on the "1992 Consensus", between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF), as early as possible, and practically solving problems concerning the two sides through talks on equal footing.
Once the ARATS-SEF dialogue is resumed, priority should be given to issues including cross-Strait weekend chartered flights and approval for mainland residents traveling to Taiwan, which are of the biggest concern to people on both sides of the Strait, said Hu.
He urged the two sides to work together to resolve the two issues in the shortest time.
Hu expressed hope that the regularization of the talks between the two organizations could be pushed forward smoothly and achievements made constantly. Leaders of the two organizations should exchange visits when it is convenient for both sides, he said.
Hu pledged support to sending "Tuantuan" and "Yuanyuan," a pair of pandas the mainland has promised to send to Taiwan people as gifts, to Taiwan as soon as possible.
Hu expressed hope that the two parties and both sides across the strait could make joint efforts to build mutual trust, lay aside disputes, seek consensus and shelve differences, and jointly create a win-win situation.
He also called for continuing to follow and effectively implement the "common aspiration and prospects for cross-strait peace and development" to concretely push forward the actual development of cross-strait relations, and strengthen the confidence of Taiwan compatriots in the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.
On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Hu welcomed Wu and all the members of the visiting KMT group.
Hu said Wu's first visit to the mainland as the KMT chairman is a major event for relations between the CPC and the KMT and relations between the mainland and Taiwan.
He expressed hope that on the basis of previous exchanges and dialogues, the two parties would further exchange views on promoting the improvement and development of relations between the mainland and Taiwan and looking to the future, jointly work for peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait.
On behalf of the KMT and Taiwan compatriots, Wu extended sympathy to compatriots in the areas affected by the Wenchuan earthquake in southwest China. He said the KMT and all social circles in Taiwan would actively assist in the rebuilding of disaster-hit areas.
Hu thanked Taiwan compatriots for their concern and generous donations and assistance to relief efforts in the wake of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in Sichuan Province.
"The love and benevolence Taiwan compatriots have shown to the people in disaster-hit areas is deeply moving," he said, adding it was touching that on the afternoon of May 12, shortly after the earthquake struck, the Central Committee of the KMT sent a telegram of sympathy.
Hu said the brotherly love and care shown by compatriots in the disaster was particularly valuable. It was not only the spiritual power of the Chinese nation to unite and help each other to jointly conquer the hardships, but would also become a strong driving force for compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to join efforts in building a better future.
Hu expressed condolences to the families of two Taiwan tourists who died during the quake, noting more than 2,890 Taiwan tourists were evacuated out of the affected areas and returned home smoothly.
Wu said the "sky has cleared after the rain" for the cross-strait relationship, and an opportunity for building up mutual benefits and renovating the cooperation has come. The mainstream public opinion in Taiwan expects the relationship to become more good-willed and interactive.
He said the KMT has listed the "common aspiration and prospects for cross-strait peace and development" into its guiding political principle, and has made it a promise for compatriots across the Strait.
"We hope that both sides across the strait will lay aside disputes, and work for a win-win situation on the basis of the '1992 consensus,'" he said.
He hoped the cross-strait negotiation, which had been severed for years, would be resumed as soon as possible.
The KMT hopes that cross-strait chartered flights on weekends and mainland tourists' visit to Taiwan could be realized in July, he said.
He expressed hope that the giant pandas, which people in Taiwan, especially children, are very fond of, can come to live in Taiwan soon.
He said he would invite the chairman of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) to visit Taiwan at an appropriate time.
Wu said some Taiwan people had doubts over the development of the cross-strait relations, and that KMT itself shares Taiwan people's wish for the island to take part in international activities.
However, the KMT was against some people's distortion of "Taiwan consciousness" into "Taiwan independence consciousness," he said.
Wu expressed hope that through expanded exchanges, reciprocal and win-win cooperation across the strait, the suspicion of some Taiwan people would be dissolved.
Hu said with regard to the question of Taiwan compatriots participating in international activities, the mainland side understood their feelings. According to the "common aspiration and prospects for cross-strait peace and development," Taiwan compatriots' participation in international activities would be discussed with priority given to participation of the World Health Organization's (WHO) activities after the cross-strait consultations were resumed.
"I believe that if two sides can work together and create conditions, solutions will be found to these issues through consultation," Hu said.
He stressed that on developing cross-strait relations, the CPC has always adhered to the principal of safeguarding the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation and safeguarding the common interests of all Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots.
"We care for, respect and believe in the Taiwan compatriots. As to the misunderstanding and suspicion harbored by some Taiwan compatriots concerning the cross-strait relations, we will not only give our understandings but also take active measures to dissolve them," he said.
To realize the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, the more people unite with us, the better, he said.
Wu said the two parties needed to continue strengthening exchanges and dialogues in the future, hold economic, trade and cultural forums or peace forums at appropriate time, and continue to have inter-party exchanges at the grassroot level, so as to make the two parties' exchange platform more solid and impact more far-reaching.
After the cross-strait consultations resume, Wu said, the regularized consultations between the two sides and the two parties' exchange platform should play roles at the same time.
Wu expressed hope that the two parties would make joint efforts and together with the compatriots from across the strait, create peace, promote stability and development and share prosperity.
Hu stressed that under the new circumstances, the two parties should expand exchanges and bring the role of exchange platform between the two parties into full play.
He expressed hope that the two parties can bear in mind the welfare of compatriots across the strait and the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation, unswervingly promote the peaceful development of the cross-strait relations, and make joint efforts to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Also present at the meeting were senior mainland officials including Wang Qishan, Ling Jihua, Wang Huning, Dai Bingguo and Chen Yunlin.
Hu hosted a banquet for Wu and his delegation after the meeting.