Jia Qinglin, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), met Thursday with Lien Chan, chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party, who is heading a high-level KMT delegation from Taiwan on a historic visit to the mainland.
Jia, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, extended a warm welcome to Lien and his entourage, and spoke highly of KMT's stand of endorsing the "1992 consensus," opposing "Taiwan independence" and promoting the development of cross-Straits relations.
"We also highly appreciate KMT's efforts in safeguarding and striving for the welfare of the Taiwan compatriots, and its pursuit of peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits," said Jia.
Describing Lien's visit as an important exchange and dialogue between the KMT and CPC, Jia said that the scheduled talks between Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, and Lien on Friday would be a historic meeting between top leaders of the two parties.
The meeting, the first of its kind in 60 years, "will be of major historic and practical significance", as the two leaders will take this opportunity to promote peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and push forward cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation, said Jia.
According to Jia, Hu and Lien will exchange their views on major issues concerning the improvement and development of cross-Straits relations, as well as party-to-party exchanges between the CPC and KMT, in an "extensive, in-depth and candid manner."
Jia recalled that during his meeting with KMT Vice-Chairman Chiang Pin-kung, who headed the first KMT delegation in 56 years to visit the mainland in March, he once cited a poem by Lu Xun (1881-1936), one of the most famous contemporary Chinese writer, to describe Lien's planned visit.
"Brothers are still brothers despite all the quarrels and fights that have occurred between them, and their hatred toward each other will be dispersed with one smile when they meet again," Jia quoted the poem again.
"I am looking forward to what was written in the poem coming true in the relationship between the KMT and CPC, marked by tomorrow's handshake between General Secretary Hu and Chairman Lien," he added.
Jia expressed his sincere hope that the high-level talks between the two parties would "produce positive results".
"We believe that as long as the two parities sincerely safeguard the benefits of the people across the Straits and strive for their welfare, they are representing the correct choice of history, and are bound to win the approval and support of the people across the Straits," he told Lien.
The cross-Straits relations are "at a critical historical juncture", observed Jia, saying that it is the common task for all compatriots across the Straits to firmly check the secessionist activities by "Taiwan independence" forces and safeguard peace across the Straits and stability in cross-Straits relations.
The CPC is willing to continue to strive for a peaceful reunification of the country "with utmost sincerity and efforts", but will never tolerate "Taiwan independence" and will never allow anyone to make Taiwan secede from China by any means, said Jia.
"We are willing to conduct extensive exchanges and dialogues with any parties, groups or individuals that oppose 'Taiwan independence' and accept the '1992 consensus'," Jia said, adding that it is CPC's sincere will to safeguard peace and improve relations across the Taiwan Straits.
He said that the CPC fully understands the "special experiences" of the Taiwan compatriots as well as their sentiments of loving their homeland, respects their wishes to be masters of their own, and wants to safeguard their rights and interests.
"We have the confidence, sincerity and patience to improve our communications with the Taiwan compatriots and achieve mutual understanding to jointly remove the difficulties and obstacles created by the secessionist forces in Taiwan, and strive for a bright prospect for cross-Straits relations," said Jia.
The 21st century will witness the "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation", which will not be hindered by anyone or any forces, said Jia.
"Against this background, 'Taiwan independence' is an impasse," he asserted, pointing to the fact that it is in conformity with the common aspirations of all Chinese across the Straits and with the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation to promote common development and cooperation for a win-win end across the Taiwan Straits.
"All Chinese across the Taiwan Straits shoulder the common responsibility for the future of the Chinese nation, and therefore should join hands and strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," he added.
During the meeting, Lien said that although Taiwan and the mainland were not far from each other in distance, it took him almost 60 years to "cover the distance."
Lien said that he saw historic changes had taken place in the mainland since his arrival in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on Tuesday on the first leg of his eight-day visit.
"It is the trend of history and also the will of the Taiwan people that have brought us to the mainland," said the KMT chairman, adding that he hoped a new era would be opened for cross-Straits exchanges through the visit.
Also present at the meeting were Lien's wife Lien Fang-yu and three KMT vice-chairpersons, as well as senior CPC officials including Chen Yunlin, director the Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee.
After the meeting, Jia hosted a banquet for Lien and his delegation, who arrived here at about 11:10 AM Thursday.
In the afternoon, the Taiwan Work Office and the visiting delegation held working talks to prepare for the party leaders' summit on Friday.
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2005)