ARATS chief concludes historic Taiwan visit, returns to Beijing
The Chinese mainland chief negotiator on Taiwan affairs, Chen Yunlin,
returned to Beijing this afternoon completing a five-day historic visit to
Chen, president of the mainland's Association for Relations Across
the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), arrived at the Beijing airport at 13:50 local
"The visit completed a long-awaited and honored mission entrusted by
compatriots across the strait," Chen said at a brief send-off ceremony before
leaving Taipei's Grand Hotel.
"The road ahead is very long and there will be
various difficulties, but we will definitely take our responsibility," Chen
Chen said the ARATS and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) will
live up to the expectations of compatriots across the strait, Both organizations
will continue working for mutual benefits
He said he left Taiwan with a sense
of the people's "deep friendship towards mainland compatriots," and with their
understanding and support of his delegation.
Chen said he hoped more Taiwan
people would visit the mainland and promised that Taiwan visitors would have
harmonious and pleasant experiences on the mainland.
SEF chairman Chiang
Pin-kung praised Chen's visit at the ceremony, saying that it was short but
He said many Taiwan media conducted a poll about his meeting with
Chen. "One poll said 52 percent of the Taiwan public showed approval of the
talks and another gave 56 percent approval showing that our efforts were not
made in vain," said Chiang.
Chiang promised that his organization will
continue to work for peace across the strait and mutual economic benefits
between Taiwan and the mainland.
Set up in 1991 and 1990 respectively, the
ARATS and the SEF were two non-governmental organizations authorized by the
mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-strait issues.
During Chen's stay in
Taiwan, he held talks with Chiang, the first time this has ever happened between
ARATS and SEF leaders on the island.
The two signed four agreements on direct
shipping, air transport, postal services and food safety. No cross-strait
political issues were involved in the talks.
The two organizations also
discussed cooperation to cope with the international financial
Yesterday, Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou met briefly with Chen and his