The Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) director met the visiting Kuomintang (KMT) delegation in Beijing on Wednesday evening to discuss cross-Straits economic exchange and cooperation.
Chen Yunlin told them that the mainland's efforts to promote economic ties were in the interest of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, and called their sustained development "an important factor for peace and stability in the region."
He urged the people of Taiwan and the mainland to join hands in creating a bright future for the improvement and development of cross-Straits relations.
Chiang Pin-kung, the KMT vice president, agreed that better economic ties could be helpful for easing tensions, resolving outstanding issues, meeting the aspirations of people on both sides, and enhancing Taiwan's economy.
He said that all involved should take a pragmatic approach in strengthening economic and trade relations and people-to-people exchange.
A wide range of issues were discussed, including regularization of direct air flights, sale of Taiwan's farm produce on the mainland, mainland labor exports to Taiwan's fishing industry, service sector cooperation, and protection of the interests of Taiwan investors.
They also talked about ways to encourage exchange, establish permanent news correspondents, equalize school fees for students from both sides of the Straits, and open up Taiwan as a destination for mainland tourists.
The TAO urged Taiwan's authorities to lift restrictions on cross-Straits economic, trade and cultural exchange and the exchange of personnel, so as to promote relations.
The TAO is an organ of the central committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and the delegation of the KMT, or Nationalist Party of China, is the first to visit the mainland in 56 years.
Also present at the meeting were TAO Deputy Director Li Bingcai and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Commerce, General Administration of Customs, State Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine, and General Administration of Civil Aviation.
(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2005)