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VP-elect satisfied with China's treatment at Boao forum

ROC Central News Agency

2008-04-13 09:55:50

    Boao, China, April 12 (CNA) Taiwan's Vice President-elect Vincent Siew said late Saturday that he was satisfied with courteous reception that China has accorded him at an economic forum being held in the southern Chinese resort of Boao in Hainan province.

    Siew, the running mate of President-elect Ma Ying-jeou of the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) , made the remarks after attending a dinner hosted by Chinese President Hu Jintao in honor of all participants to the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). "I'm satisfied with all the warm hospitality and courteous treatment extended to me by forum organizers, " Siew told Taiwanese reporters covering his current landmark visit.

    Siew is the first Taiwanese vice president-elect ever to set foot on Chinese soil. Although he is attending the forum in his capacity as chairman of the private Taipei-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation (CSCMF) , China sent a charter plane to Hong Kong to take him and his 12-member entourage to Boao, a lavish treatment befitting his status as a country's incoming vice president.

    On Saturday afternoon, Siew met Hu in the highest-level political contact across the Taiwan Strait in nearly 60 years.

    Siew, who, along with Ma, will take office May 20, said he keenly hopes his 20-minute talks with Hu will contribute to peaceful development on both sides of the Taiwan Strait which separates Taiwan from China.

    During the meeting, Siew said he proposed that the two sides "face reality, set sights on the future, shelve disputes and pursue a win-win scenario." "The essence of my suggestion is that cross-strait affairs should be addressed with pragmatism and openness, " Siew said, adding that all his opinions expressed during the meeting have received Hu's positive response.

    Siew recalled that when he bade farewell to Hu at the end of the dinner, Hu told him that their meeting in the afternoon was "very meaningful."

    Describing Hu's comments as offering a "historic opportunity" for improving cross-strait ties, which have been stalled for eight years due to China's unwillingness to hold dialogue with Taiwan's incumbent pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party administration, Siew said the two sides should start with tackling economic issues while putting political disputes on the back burner.

    Meanwhile, Su Chi, a former Mainland Affairs Council chairman who was also present at the Siew-Hu meeting, portrayed the talks as "candid and friendly" with "harmonious chemistry."

    According to Su, Siew brought up four requests during the talks, including resumption of cross-strait dialogue, normalization of bilateral trade and economic ties, launch of weekend cross-strait charter flights and opening of Chinese tourists to Taiwan. "My observation is that cross-strait negotiation will resume soon and weekend cross-strait charter flights could take off in early July, " Su forecast optimistically, adding that it is almost sure that spring is in sight.

(By Sofia Wu)


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