Hu calls for further mainland-Taiwan cooperation

By Xinhua

Boao, Hainan : The economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan was facing a historical opportunity and needed joint efforts from both sides for further progress, Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said on Saturday.

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Hu made the remarks while meeting with Vincent C. Siew, chairman of the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation at the Boao Forum for Asia.

Hu said under the new circumstances, the mainland would continue promoting cross-Straits economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation.

The mainland would also make efforts to push forward negotiations on weekend charter flights and mainland tourists’ travel to Taiwan, Hu said.

He said the mainland would continue being concerned about Taiwan compatriots’ welfare and protecting their legal rights and interests, and would step up efforts to restore cross-Straits negotiations and talks.

Hu said the fact that the forum was attended by so many participants from all walks of life home and abroad reflected from one aspect Asian countries and regions’ strong desire to reinforce communication and cooperation and seek win-win solutions.

“The fact also inspired us to think deep about cross-Straits economic exchanges and cooperation under the new circumstances,” Hu said.

Siew said the economies of the mainland and Taiwan were closely related, and the development of trade and economic relations had contributed to cross-Straits stability.

He hoped the weekend charter flights program would be launched as soon as possible and mainland tourists would soon travel to Taiwan, adding that direct flights and normal trade ties had become an inevitable choice.

Hu said the cross-Straits economic exchanges and cooperation had achieved a prominent progress after 20 years of development. Facts proved that the economic exchanges and cooperation was the most vigorous factor in the cross-Straits relations and an effective way to benefit people on both sides and expand their common interests.

Hu pointed out that in recent eight years, the cross-Straits relations “suffered twists and turns for reasons known to all”, and people on both sides were not willing to see that.

He stressed that the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relations was the shared will and common interests of compatriots on both sides.