Mainland official wants ties to be safeguarded from U-turns

Updated: 2015-05-25 07:27

By Xinhua in Kinmen(China Daily)

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The Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs chief Zhang Zhijun called on Saturday for efforts to avoid U-turns in ties across the Taiwan Straits during a two-day visit.

"Both sides should be determined to protect cross-Straits relations from U-turns and setbacks, which are also the common aspirations of compatriots across the Straits," said Zhang, director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office. He was speaking as he met with Taiwan's mainland affairs chief Andrew Hsia on the island of Kinmen, Taiwan.

Cross-Straits relations are at a new crucial point, and both sides should consider earnestly the future development of the ties, Zhang said.

Both sides should stick to the path of peaceful development, enhance mutual trust, and handle sensitive problems properly so as to keep the right direction and momentum. They should adhere to the common political foundation, safeguard peace and stability across the Straits and avoid losing the achievements gained from peaceful development, he said.

Zhang called for efforts to deepen cooperation and exchanges and to build a community of shared destiny.

Saturday's meeting was the third formal one between the respective chiefs of cross-Straits affairs.

Zhang reiterated that the mainland welcomes Taiwan's willingness to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The two sides will keep in touch to seek a way for the island to join under a proper name.

They agreed to push the signing of a water supply contract between Fujian province and Kinmen as well as starting related construction as soon as possible.

They also agreed to push forward consultations and reach a consensus on agreement in commodity trade and to hold the 11th talks between heads of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation at an early date.

They said they would conclude consultations on allowing the two bodies to set up offices in each other's areas as early as possible.

In addition, the two sides also agreed to promote negotiations on allowing mainland air passengers to transfer in Taiwan, with the aim of reaching an agreement by the middle of the year.

The discussions also included strengthening economic and fishery cooperation, exchanges among young and grassroots people, protecting the rights of students studying on each side of the Straits, and cooperation on repatriation of fugitives.

Since 2008, the two sides have created a new environment for the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties on the common political foundations of the 1992 Consensus and opposition to "Taiwan independence", Zhang said.

Hsia said the regular communication mechanism between the two bodies should be maintained.

Hsia said that by learning lessons from history, the two sides should promote steady development of cross-Strait relations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus.

(China Daily 05/25/2015 page4)