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First cross-Straits peace forum opens in Shanghai

Updated: 2013-10-11 20:40
( Xinhua)

SHANGHAI -- The first cross-Straits peace forum, an important platform for non-official political dialogue between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, opened here on Friday to rally political wisdom and expand consensus.

Addressing the opening ceremony, mainland Taiwan affairs chief Zhang Zhijun said, "Though some political disputes in development of cross-Straits relations can be shelved temporarily, it is impossible to avoid them totally or for a long time."

While acclaiming the achievements made during the past five years in cross-Straits relations, Zhang said, "The path will not be flat and straight when we forge ahead as there will be various obstacles to be cleared away and many bottle-neck problems that need to be cracked."

"It is unrealistic and impossible to deal only with economic issues while ignoring political ones," added Zhang, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Zhang pointed out that upholding the principle that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China is the common political foundation to ensure peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and solve cross-Straits political differences.

No matter how big these political differences are, the one-China framework should never be allowed to waver or be harmed, he said, noting that all political issues should resolved within this framework.

"This is the bottom line that should not be loosened," he said.

While continuing the progressive method of tackling easy things first and difficult things later to promote steady development of cross-Straits ties, "more efforts are needed to make breakthroughs in prominent problems which hinder further development of cross-Straits ties," Zhang said.

He called the peace forum a "breakthrough" in overcoming difficulties and a "pioneering" move.

"It is conducive for experts and scholars to exchange ideas first under the condition that the two sides across the Taiwan Straits have not launched political negotiations," according to the senior official.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said in a meeting with Taiwan politician Vincent Siew earlier this month that taking a long-term perspective, longstanding cross-Straits political differences will have to be solved step by step eventually, while these problems cannot be passed down from generation to generation.

The mainland has expressed several times its willingness to jointly explore cross-Straits political relations with Taiwan through equal consultation and make reasonable arrangements for them, Xi said.