China / HK Macao Taiwan

Liaison mechanism to be set up across Straits

By ZHAO SHENGNAN in Nanjing, QIN JIZE and PU ZHENDONG in Beijing (China Daily) Updated: 2014-02-12 02:41

Liaison mechanism to be set up across Straits

Zhang Zhijun (right), head of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, meets Wang Yu-chi, Taiwan's mainland affairs chief, in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, on Tuesday, in the highest-level talks between representatives from both sides of the Taiwan Straits since 1949. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan agreed on Tuesday to establish a liaison mechanism in their first formal meeting since 1949.

The agreement was reached after Zhang Zhijun, head of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, held a landmark dialogue with visiting Taiwan mainland affairs chief Wang Yu-chi in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province.

The mechanism will aim at tackling major divergences and facilitating all-round development of cross-Straits relations.

However, it will not replace existing communication channels such as the mainland’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation.

Describing the progress of cross-Straits ties as "a journey of ups and downs” over decades, Zhang said the mainland and Taiwan must avoid self-inflicted setbacks.

"From early military conflicts and political confrontations to the gradual easing of tensions, numerous people from the two sides have made tremendous efforts to create the current conditions of cross-Straits ties,” Zhang said.

He reaffirmed that opposing "Taiwan independence” and adhering to the "1992 Consensus” are the political basis for the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relationship.

Zhang and Wang agreed to leave more room for imagination in order to achieve a further breakthrough in the relationship.

"As long as we are on the right path, the destination will not be far,” Zhang said in opening remarks.

Wang said at a news conference after the meeting that both sides need new methods and ideas.

"We also need to face reality and carry out the agreement reached. As long as both sides show good faith, the situation will forge ahead on the right track,” he said.

Explaining the mechanism, he said that senior officials from the two departments could "just pick up their mobile phones and talk”.

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