Yesterday afternoon, the top leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Kuomintang (KMT) met and shook hands for the first time in 60 years. They then had two hours of closed-door talks, resulting in a joint press communiqué and followed by a press conference.
Describing the occasion as a "historic meeting," General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao said it was an important event in relations between the two parties and two sides of the Taiwan Straits as exchanges enter "a new stage of development."
KMT Chairman Lien Chan said the two parties "proceed today to achieve happiness and benefits for people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits with goodwill and on a basis of mutual trust," calling for efforts to avoid confrontation and conflicts, and to "seek reconciliation and dialogue."
According to the joint communiqué, both parties agreed to work together to promote early restoration of cross-Straits talks, an end to the state of hostility, further economic and trade links, and discussions on Taiwan's participation in international activities.
"It is the common stance of the two parties to adhere to the '1992 Consensus,' to oppose ‘Taiwan independence’ and to seek peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits," said the communiqué.
In it, they hoped that “the result of the party leaders' meeting will be to promote the welfare of all Chinese compatriots across the Straits, open up a new chapter in cross-Straits relations and lead to a bright future for the Chinese nation."
At the press conference, Lien urged the Taiwan authorities to support the consensus they had reached.
The "1992 Consensus," from talks between the CPC and the then-incumbent KMT, endorsed the “one-China principle” widely recognized by governments across the world.
Lien and his delegation arrived in Nanjing on Tuesday on an eight-day visit. After Nanjing and Beijing, they are scheduled to go to Xi'an and Shanghai.
Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek held the last meeting of the two parties' top leaders in August 1945 in Chongqing, the wartime capital of China, in an unsuccessful bid to negotiate a truce.
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2005)