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Soong Talks at Tsinghua University

Visiting People First Party Chairman James CY Soong reiterated his anti-secessionist stance in Beijing on Wednesday in an address at Tsinghua University that was broadcast live on television.

He called on people on the mainland not to confuse "Taiwan consciousness" -- recognizing the people and land of Taiwan -- with "Taiwan independence" and said there was nobody in the world who could hold the Chinese people back from resolving their own problems peacefully.

Soong said that concerted efforts should be made to build a common market for common prosperity across the Taiwan Straits.

"Several days ago when I visited Nanjing, an old local man approached me after going through tight security to say 'Mr. Soong, we need no warfare'. That demonstrated to me that people across the Straits have a common aspiration for peace," said Soong.

The rise of the Chinese nation was an inevitable trend, he said, but harmonious living and common prosperity required deepened mutual understanding on both sides of the Straits.

Soong said that cross-Straits relations have undergone world-shaking changes over the past month, and "only by putting people's interests first can we find a solution."

He pledged to promote education exchange across the Straits for the benefit of Taiwan students studying on the mainland, and said institutions on both sides should recognize each other's educational records.

He also hoped Taiwan students would obtain fair job opportunities after completing their mainland educations and receive scholarships from the mainland universities.

(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2005)

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