Taiwan affairs chief visits US

Updated: 2014-09-08 11:03

By Lian Zi in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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Taiwan affairs chief visits US

Zhang Zhijun (center), director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, takes a picture with people from Taiwan who now live in the San Francisco Bay Area after a reception hosted at Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco on Sept 5. Lian Zi / China Daily

People on the mainland and Taiwan can work together to support the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, which should be based on the one-China policy, said Zhang Zhijun, director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, during his visit to San Francisco Bay Area.

At a reception hosted by the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Sept 5, Zhang shared his views on Taiwan issues with guests, including about 100 Taiwanese immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area who gave Zhang a warm welcome.

Zhang is the first-ever head of the Chinese mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office to visit Taiwan. The meeting in June 2014 between him and Wang Yu-chi, director of the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council, is regarded as a breakthrough in efforts to consolidate cross-Straits relations, according to Zhang.

Zhang said support for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations has already become the consensus of the people on both sides, adding that "mainstream public support is a strong guarantee for consolidating peaceful cross-Straits relations".

He described the progress of cross-Straits ties over the decades as "a journey of ups and downs", but "relations between the two sides have improved dramatically since 2008 and we have already achieved great progress". In 2013, the volume of cross-Straits trade reached $197.2 billion, an increase of 16.7 percent over the previous year, said Zhang.

He also shared the policy instructions by Chinese President Xi Jinping on cross-Straits relations.

He quoted Xi as saying that the principle of promoting peaceful development of cross-Straits relations would not be changed; the promotion for mutual-benefit collaboration and exchanges would not be stopped; the opposition to 'Taiwan independence' would not be shaken.

Zhang said: "In the next period, we will strive to work on three aspects based on Xi's instructions. First, we will continue to strengthen and consolidate the political mutual trust between the two sides, to ensure the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations without interference and destruction. Second, we will continue to promote cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation, to let more people benefit from the peaceful development of the relation. Third, we will continue to firmly oppose 'Taiwan independence'."

Immigrants from Taiwan now living in the San Francisco Bay Area were enthused about Zhang's visit.

Florence Fang, a renowned community leader and former president of the Chinese for Peaceful Unification-Northern California, said the future of the cross-Straits relationship relies heavily on the younger generation in Taiwan. People from all walks of life in the mainland and Taiwan should know the importance of educating young men and women on why we need reunification and how we can achieve our long-cherished goals, she said.

Meanwhile, the business circles of Taiwan that have a presence on the mainland should play a more active role in helping the people across the Straits better understand each other and facilitate more healthy communications, said Fang, adding that the more interaction between people of the mainland and Taiwan, the more a sense of trust between the two sides would grow.

Betty Yuan, a community leader who emigrated from Taiwan to the US in 1981, praised Zhang's clear analysis on the current cross-Straits relations. "He made a really positive and deep impression," said Yuan.