|KMT chairman begins eight-day Chinese mainland visit|
BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung arrived in Beijing Monday to start an eight-day visit to the mainland that he called a chance to review cross-Straits interactions in the past year and exchange ideas "frankly and in a friendly way."
Wu made the trip at the invitation of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee General Secretary Hu Jintao. The two will meet Tuesday to exchange ideas on the cross-Straits relationship.
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, met with Wu and his delegation Monday.
Jia stressed that interaction and inter-party dialogue would play an irreplaceable role in keeping the development of cross-Straits relations on a peaceful track and building trust.
The KMT and CPC had shouldered greater responsibility in promoting the cross-Straits relationship, said Jia, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.
He said Wu's meeting with Hu would promote political mutual trust.
Both sides should find opportunities amid the global downturn to promote the normalization of the cross-Straits economic relationship through more institutionalized economic cooperation, Jia told Wu.
Wu said that the great progress of cross-Straits relations in the past year had proved that the common prospects for peaceful cross-Straits development, agreed by leaders of the two parties in2005, fully met the needs of people on both sides.
The two parties had achieved unprecedented interaction and should unswervingly continue their exchanges in a proper direction, Wu said.
Both the people in the mainland and Taiwan were Chinese and responsible for the revitalization of the nation and its culture, he added.
"Through cooperation in tackling problems, the two sides should explore a way to create a future of mutual benefit and prosperity," said Wang Yi, director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, earlier during a welcoming ceremony at the airport. "Leaders will talk about this issue at the coming meeting."
Wu will visit Beijing, then southwestern Chongqing Municipality, Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang Province and Nanjing in eastern Jiangsu Province, said KMT spokesman Lee Chien-jung earlier in Taipei.
Lee said the leaders of the KMT and CPC would review the events of the past year and reach an understanding on how to promote relations.
Wu would attend activities to commemorate Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a founder of the KMT, or Nationalist Party of China, in Nanjing on June 1, Lee added. This year is the 80th anniversary of Sun being buried in Nanjing.
Wang Jianmin, a Taiwan affairs researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: "It is a significant breakthrough in form for Hu to invite, in public, Wu to visit Beijing.
"Exchanges between the two parties have very special effects on cross-Straits relations," he added.
Wang expected new promises on exchanges and cooperation between compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and future development of cross-Straits relations would be made in the meeting between Hu and Wu. He also expected to see new measures to jointly cope with the global financial crisis.
Chang Wu-ueh, director of Tamkang University's Graduate Institute of China Studies, was also positive about this visit.
"After the Straits Forum, the mainland and Taiwan saw multi-level cross-Straits exchanges, and the two parties have made irreplaceable contributions," Chang told Xinhua Monday.
Chang said the KMT and CPC should continue to promote inter-party exchanges and "constantly" build up political trust, to make continuous contributions to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relationship.
The week-long Straits Forum was held in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen on May 16. The forum, co-hosted by four cities in Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan across the sea, was the largest-yet unofficial cross-Straits forum.