Wang Yi, Taiwan affairs chief of the Chinese mainland, said on Monday that cross-Straits consultations should follow a step-by-step pattern.
The two sides should first tackle issues that are relatively easier to solve, said Wang, director of both the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
He made the remarks as he saw off Chen Yunlin, president of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), at the Beijing Capital International Airport.
Wang said that the stance was also the consensus of the ARATS and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation, with whose chairman -- Chiang Pin-kung -- Chen is to hold talks during the five-day visit.
During Chen's visit, the two organizations will mainly discuss cross-Straits direct shipping, air transport, postal services and food safety.
Wang said the topics were agreed on previously by both sides. He added that the signing of agreements on these four issues would lay a foundation for more comprehensive development of cross-Straits relations.
The consultations would be step-by-step and confined to the four issues this time, he said.
As to the next step, Wang said the mainland would respect the Taiwan compatriots' opinions and try to include in future talks issues that they hoped to solve.
The mainland held an open and positive attitude toward future topics, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 3, 2008)