The Chinese mainland on Friday called for more exchanges across the Taiwan Straits to pool wisdom and strength for mutually beneficial cooperation.
"It is the common aspiration of compatriots on both sides of the Straits to expand and deepen cross-Straits economic exchange and cooperation so as to boost the peaceful and stable development of cross-Straits relations and to attain the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said Jia Qinglin, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), at the opening of the Cross-Straits Economic and Trade Forum.
Jia described the forum as another effort by the CPC and Taiwan's Chinese Kuomintang Party to set up a platform for "persons of insight" to come together and discuss ways of achieving mutually beneficial cooperation across the Straits. Everything that concerns the interests of compatriots across the Straits is open for discussion at the two-day forum, he said.
Jia also criticized the leader of the Taiwan authorities for his intensified efforts towards "Taiwan independence".
Jia was referring to Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's decision in February to cease the function of the Taiwan-based "National Unification Council" and the application of the council's guidelines on unification with the mainland.
"It is a serious challenge to the one-China principle, which is widely upheld by the international community, and peace and stability across the Straits," Jia said, adding that it is also a "dangerous step" toward "Taiwan independence".
To safeguard the fundamental interests of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, "we will not tolerate calls for 'Taiwan independence'," Jia stressed.
(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2006)