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Resumption of mainland-Taiwan talks hailed
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As Chiang Pin-kun ended his four-day visit to the Chinese mainland and left for Taiwan Saturday morning, the resumption of talks across the Taiwan Straits is hailed by scholars from both sides as a historic and good start for cross-Straits relations in the new situation.

"The resumption creates a brand-new start for further development of cross-Straits relations. It's a step of great importance," said Yang Lixian, a scholar with the mainland-based National Society of Taiwan Studies.

She said the talks went very smoothly in a very harmonious environment this time as both sides had drawn experiences from the up and downs of cross-Straits relations in the past.

Both sides have realized that only through laying aside disputes and building up mutual trust could they create a win-win situation to truly bring benefits to people on both sides, she said.

The mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kun on Thursday started their talks, marking the two organizations' first talks after a suspension of nine years.

Guo Zhenyuan, a researcher from the China Institute of International Studies, said people on both sides are becoming more confident of a more peaceful and stable cross-Straits relationship following resumption of the talks.

During the meeting, the two sides signed a minute of talks on weekend chartered flights and an agreement on allowing mainland tourists to visit Taiwan in July.

Zhao Chunshan, professor from Taiwan Tamkang University, felt optimistic about the future cross-Straits relations. "If more mutual trust is be built on the basis, it will be possible that more sensitive issues may appear on the list of the cross-Straits talks and there will be a way for both sides to solve them."

Talks were suspended in 1999 after then Taiwan leader Li Teng-hui proposed his "special state-to-state" model for cross-Straits relations.

The SEF and ARATS are authorized non-governmental organizations (NGO) engaged in talks on issues related to cross-Straits exchanges.

Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met Chiang Friday afternoon, saying the resumption of talks signaled a good start of the improvement and development of mainland-Taiwan relations in the new situation.

(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2008)

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