China's top leader pledges to continue promoting Taiwan ties
Central News Agency
Beijing, Feb. 25 (CNA) China's top leader Xi Jinping said Monday that Beijing will continue to promote the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait.
In a meeting with a delegation headed by Lien Chan, a former vice president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Xi said he has paid close attention to the cross-strait situation and hoped for continued improvement in cross-strait relations even after leaving Fujian in 2002.
Xi is a former governor of the southeastern coastal province of Fujian, which maintains close ties with Taiwan. This was his first meeting with Lien since taking over as general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November 2012.
'The new (CPC) party leadership will continue to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and push for the peaceful unification of the two sides ... for the well-being of people on either side of the Taiwan Strait,' said Xi, who is expected to replace Hu Jintao as China's president in March.
The Chinese leader recalled that when working in Fujian, he had contacts with Taiwan-related matters every day and made many friends from Taiwan.
Xi said he first met Lien in April 2006 in Hangzhou, when he was party secretary of Zhejiang province.
Lien, who is now an honorary chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang, said that he put forth five visions for the peaceful development of cross-strait ties in his first meeting with Hu in Beijing in 2005 during his time as KMT chairman.
Based upon the foundation laid down during the groundbreaking talks, the two sides have signed 18 agreements since 2008, Lien noted.
'This demonstrates that we have chosen the right, effective path that will not and should not be reversed,' he said.
'The right path (for cross-strait ties) is right before our eyes, and we should resolutely move forward.'
Other Chinese officials at the meeting included Yu Zhengsheng, chairman-designate of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Wang Huning, a member of the CPC Politburo, and Li Zhanshu, chief of the General Office of the CPC.
Also present were State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi, as well as Chen Yunlin and Zheng Lizhong, president and vice president respectively of the semi-official Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.
(By Lawrence Chiu and Y.F. Low)
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