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Hu Meets Soong in Beijing

Hu Jintao, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s Central Committee, met with Taiwan's visiting People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong on Thursday afternoon in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Hu said his historic handshake and meeting with Soong would be always remembered.

The PFP delegation's trip to the mainland and its dialogue with the CPC showed the willingness of both parties to push for peace and work for the benefit of the people across the Straits, said Hu.

He said he hoped the delegation's tour could build "a bridge of mutual trust between the two parties" and "a bridge of communication between people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits".

The mainland is prepared to talk with anyone and any political party in Taiwan who accepts the one-China principle and the "1992 Consensus," he said, and "No matter what they have said or done in the past, we would be ready to talk with them on developing cross-Straits relations and promoting national reunification."

Hu said the Chinese nation is now facing a rare historic opportunity to develop itself and called for both parties to follow the trend to strive for development and prosperity.

"The times and the Chinese people require us political party leaders across the Taiwan Straits to work hard in this regard," said Hu, emphasizing that people on both sides are closely tied by 5,000 years of historical and cultural tradition.

"All Chinese people should take the rejuvenation of the nation as their own task," said Hu.

Soong said that "Taiwan independence" has never been an option for the PFP as it would only bring war and disaster.

He said this is also one of the three-point basic stands that the PFP has always adhered to, along with sticking to the "1992 Consensus" and the one-China principle as well as advocating peace.

"As long as there is an environment of peace, I believe the Chinese people will score more outstanding achievements," he said.

"Not only all the Chinese people around the world, but all countries in the world show great concern over the results of our meeting today," Soong said.

"They want to know whether we can pool our wisdom and ability to resolve our past misunderstandings and problems by the Chinese people themselves," Soong said. "We are full of expectations and hope that we can."

He said that people on both sides should join hands to promote peace across the Straits.

(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2005)

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