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Hu, Lien Meet During 3rd Forum
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Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, met in Beijing Saturday with Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman Lien Chan.

After their brief meeting, they also met with participants attending the third cross-Taiwan Straits economic, trade, and cultural forum at the Great Hall of the People, and Hu called for closer personnel, economic, and cultural exchanges between the mainland and Taiwan to curb Taiwan secessionist activities and maintain peace across the Taiwan Straits.

Hu said the mainland's robust economic growth has offered more opportunities, stronger impetus, and better conditions for cross-Straits economic exchanges and cooperation.

"To promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation, improve the well-being of the people across the Straits and boost the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation are the common will of the people and the prevailing trend," Hu said.

Hu met Lien, then KMT chairman, for the first time in April 2005. The Hu-Lien meeting, hailed as monumental, was the first meeting between top leaders of the two parties in 60 years.

Following the meeting, the two parties released a press communique, which says that the two parties have reached a five-point consensus for "promoting peace and development across the Taiwan Straits."

Hu and Lien met again in April 2006, when Lien was in Beijing for a cross-Straits forum on economic and trade cooperation. Both of them underscored the peaceful development of relations between the two sides.

Lien said the CPC and the KMT have jointly hosted a series of forums and seminars on cross-Straits economic, cultural and agricultural exchanges over the past two years.

He said the exchanges have helped improve the well being of the people across the Straits, especially the Taiwanese.

The KMT will continue to work as a bridge to push forward the cross-Straits relations through dialogues and consultations, said Lien, when addressing the participants.

About 500 participants from the mainland and Taiwan are attending the current cross-Straits forum, which opened in Beijing on Saturday.

Participants will exchange views on issues including direct flights across the Taiwan Straits and educational and tourism cooperation between the two sides.

(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2007)

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