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Lien Chan Arrives in Beijing

Chairman Lien Chan of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party of China said Thursday that dialogue is the common aspiration of the people across the Taiwan Straits.

"Realization of the peaceful and win-win future is our shared historical responsibility and inevitable public outcry," Lien said at the aprons of the Beijing Capital International Airport upon his arrival at about 11:10 am.

Lien called the KMT delegation’s mainland visit a "hard-won" one. "We very much cherish the treasured opportunity and are willing to hear more, see more, learn more and communicate more," the KMT chairman said.

"In Beijing which is a world famous city," Lien said, "we can see the coexistence of tradition and modernity as well as the melding of Chinese and world cultures."

Lien was scheduled in Beijing to meet Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and deliver a speech at Peking University.

Beijing is the second leg on Lien's eight-day mainland visit itinerary, next to Nanjing. His next steps are Xi'an and Shanghai.

After he arrived in Nanjing Tuesday afternoon, Lien said that the visit would be a "historic first step" for the promotion of cross-Straits relations.

This is the first time that the KMT chairman has set feet on the mainland since 1949 when the KMT lost a civil war to the CPC and fled to Taiwan, an island province opposite to the coastal Fujian Province across the Straits.

The Hu-Lien summit, which will be held on Friday, will be the first of its kind between the CPC and the KMT in nearly six decades.

Late CPC Chairman Mao Zedong and KMT Chairman Chiang Kai-shek conducted the latest meeting in August 1945 in Chongqing, the wartime capital of China, in a bid to negotiate a truce. The two sides failed to clinch a formal peace.

Lien's mainland visit was described by the KMT as a "journey of peace."

(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2005)

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