Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) honorary chairman Lien Chan said yesterday
that the new agreements between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan "earn a real
applause" and could benefit both sides.
Lien held a banquet in Taipei to welcome the mainland's Association for
Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) president Chen Yunlin and his
"From a historical perspective, Chen's visit realizes a decade-old wish of
President Wang Daohan and Chairman Koo Chen-fu, announces the establishment of
an institutionalized consultation channel, and strengthens the base of
cross-Straits mutual development and mutual benefits, " Lien said in his
In April 1993, late ARATS President Wang and Koo, late chairman of
Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), held a historic "Wang-Koo
meeting" in Singapore. It was the first public meeting between leaders of the
Lien said Chen's current visit also symbolized a great step toward
establishing mutual trust and achieving a win-win situation.
Chen and SEF chairman Chiang Pin-kung signed agreements on direct shipping
and flights, postal services and food safety during their first summit in
The agreements were expected to end a situation that has prevailed since
1949, which required air and sea movements between the Chinese mainland and
Taiwan to go through a third place.
ien, then KMT chairman, held a historic meeting with Hu Jintao, general
secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, in 2005, the
first such meeting after six decades.
Lien said he was honored to build a "shared vision" with Hu for the
cross-Straits peaceful development. The three ensuing CPC-KMT forums, which had
48 fruitful deals, had greatly promoted cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation
in fields such as economy, trade, culture, education and youth exchanges.
The ARATS delegation's visit was a key step in history, he said.
Chen said in his address that his "best dream of his life" was to sign the
four agreements together with Chiang "on the lovely earth of Taiwan".
"For such a visit, many great efforts have been made ... and the ARATS and
the SEF have signed six deals over the past five months, completing tasks that
may take 60 years to achieve. The Taiwan side has made positive efforts," he
Three of the four deals signed yesterday concerned cross-Straits issues
of "three direct links" of shipping, flights and postal services, which was
"good news" for compatriots on both sides, Chen said.
"The future will tell that it is a right decision which would bring benefits
to people on both sides," he said, adding the result would also comfort Wang and
Koo who had passed away.
The ARATS and SEF would "bravely move on with steadier steps" so as to open a
new era of peaceful development across the Straits, Chen said.
Taiwan's mainland affairs department chief Lai Shin-yuan said when meeting
with Chen that "the mainland and Taiwan could solve misunderstandings step by
step so long as the two sides could tolerate and understand each other".
She said the two high-level meetings between the two organizations in less
than five months showed their strong willingness in shelving disputes, facing
reality and vigorously improving ties.