Top leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party shook hands for the first time in 60 years at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Friday.
The landmark event indicates that the two parties share common concerns about the future of the Chinese nation, and are actively seeking new paradigms for breaking the current stalemate in cross-Straits relations.
During his historic meeting with visiting KMT Chairman Lien Chan, CPC Central Committee General Secretary Hu Jintao has said that despite discrepancies, both parties can seek common ground by "prioritizing the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation and the welfare of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits."
The cynosural meeting also marks the two parties' efforts to put an official end to the decades-old ideological conflicts and hostility between them, and to usher in a new stage for their party-to-party relationship.
In addition to thawing the historical feuds, the meeting, scheduled on the anniversary of the first "Wang-Koo Meeting" held between the CPC and the then-incumbent KMT in 1993, also symbolizes the mainland's utmost goodwill and marked flexibility in handling the Taiwan issue.
Such a meeting assumes particular significance against the backdrop of the escalating tensions across the Taiwan Straits as a result of the Taiwan authorities' deviation from the one-China principle and the "1992 Consensus" and their continuous push for the island province's secession from China in recent years.
In response to the uproar of secessionist activities maneuvered by the Taiwan authorities, China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, enacted in March an Anti-secession Law aimed at checking and preventing "Taiwan independence."
However, the principled mainland has repeatedly said the use of force would be the "last resort" for settling the Taiwan issue.
In the four-point guidelines on cross-Straits relations he set forth in early March, Hu, the CPC leader, has said the Chinese government would unswervingly adhere to the seeking of a "peaceful resolution" of the Taiwan issue.
In fact, such goodwill is evident in a series of policies adopted by the mainland to facilitate economic, cultural, educational and personnel exchanges with Taiwan. And these policies have attracted an increasing number of Taiwan people to invest, work, study and live in the rapidly developing mainland.
As cross-Straits trade and economic ties have turned closer, and cultural and personnel exchanges been further boosted, maintaining the peaceful status-quo across the Taiwan Straits and striving for common prosperity have become a notion more and more deeply rooted among the mainland people, who always regard the Taiwan compatriots as their "flesh-and-blood brothers." Cross-Straits cooperation has also become an increasingly popular concept among the people and various political parties in Taiwan.
In January, the KMT party effectively helped launch the first direct, non-stop charter flight scheme across the Taiwan Straits in 56 years during the Chinese lunar new year, a move widely hailed by people across the Straits.
A delegation led by KMT Vice-Chairman Chiang Pin-kung made an "icebreaking trip" to the mainland in March. The visit led to a 12-point preliminary consensus on further promoting cross-Straits communications and economic and trade links.
Although smeared by the Taiwan authorities and diehard secessionists as a so-called "act of selling out Taiwan," Lien's eight-day mainland mission has found more supporters than objectors in Taiwan. Surveys conducted by Taiwan media found that the local people support the trip by a large margin.
In addition to the high-level reception from the CPC and various local governments, the KMT delegation from Taiwan also enjoyed a hearty and passionate welcome from the ordinary mainlanders. Lien's public speeches frequently stirred up stormy applauses in Nanjing and Beijing, the first two legs of his tour.
The goodwill conveyed by the mainland during the KMT visit has earned positive response among the Taiwan people. The same day of the historic meeting between Hu and Lien, a Taiwan media poll found more than 62 percent of the nearly 1,000 respondents wanted the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to open talks with the mainland, while only 19 percent said such talks are not necessary.
Chairman Lien has said it is the trend of history and will of the Taiwan people that have brought the KMT delegation to the mainland. His observation was once again proved by the successful Friday summit between the two parties.
With the example set by the CPC and KMT, it is now high time for the Taiwan authorities and the DPP to answer the call of the people and take concrete actions to promote the welfare of the Chinese nation.
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2005)