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China Daily Website

Hu calls for trust to continue across the Straits

Updated: 2012-09-08 09:20
By Zhao Yinan ( China Daily)

The top Party official on the mainland urged the mainland and Taiwan on Friday to continue the current cross-Straits policy to strengthen their two-way relationship and promote cooperation.

The pledge was made before the mainland's expected new leadership lineup of the Communist Party of China later this year.

Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC's Central Committee, met with Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang, in Vladivostok, east Russia, on Friday.

The two sides have agreed to enhance cooperation and communication under the one-China policy.

While saying the two sides have carried out most of their pledges from 2005 on both economic and cultural exchanges, Hu urged the two sides to uphold the path of peaceful development and the promotion of mutual political trust.

Hu has lauded the landmark achievements that the two sides have reached since May 2008, when current Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou assumed office and cross-Straits tensions started to thaw.

Li Jiaquan, a researcher with the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Hu's remarks, while consistent with the mainland's Taiwan policy, are significant in that they highlight political trust.

Although it is not the first time that the mainland has called for mutual political trust in cross-Straits exchanges, Hu's words are reassuring to the other side, as the mainland is expecting a new political lineup and Taiwan has also just finished its own leadership reshuffle, he said.

The two sides have signed two long-awaited agreements - on investment protection and promotion, and customs cooperation - in early August, which are expected to further boost two-way capital and trade flows across the Straits.

In the agreements, which took two years to negotiate, the mainland and Taiwan promised to provide equal treatment to investors from both sides.

The two sides have signed 18 cross-Straits agreements since 2008, on issues as diverse as intellectual property rights protection and nuclear-safety cooperation.

The mainland has become Taiwan's biggest trading partner and export market, benefiting from the early harvest program of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a landmark cross-Straits deal signed in 2010.

The mainland is currently the largest source of tourists for Taiwan, making up about 30 percent of the island's visitors. Taiwan is the third-largest source of tourists for the mainland, accounting for 6 percent of inbound tourists.

The total number of visits made by people from both sides surged from 4.7 million in 2008 to 7.05 million last year, with an annual growth rate of 14 percent. During that period, tourists spent $27.8 billion, which provided a great boost to the cross-Straits tourism market.