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Party chief Xi Jinping meets Lien Chan, the honorary chairman of the Kuomintang, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday. Sheng Jiapeng / China News Service
Compatriots can achieve dream of national rejuvenation, Xi says
Party chief Xi Jinping expressed confidence in maintaining and boosting cross-Straits ties during a meeting on Monday with a Taiwan delegation led by Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang.
It was Xi's first meeting with a Taiwan delegation since he became the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in November.
In a greeting to the delegation, Xi said that the new leaders of the CPC will continue to promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
Compatriots from both sides of the Straits can cooperate in realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation - the greatest dream in the country's modern history, he said. "If brothers are of the same mind, their sharpness can cut through metal," Xi said.
Xi recalled the time when he worked in Fujian, the mainland's nearest province to the island. He often met with Taiwan compatriots during this time and befriended many of them.
Xi worked for 17 years in Fujian, during which the first Taiwan chamber of commerce on the mainland was established in Xiamen city. He also helped solve many problems for Taiwan compatriots and was viewed as a good friend by many of them, Xinhua News Agency reported.
"I dealt with things related to Taiwan almost every day (when working in Fujian province)," Xi said, adding that he still paid close attention to cross-Straits ties after leaving Fujian to work in Zhejiang province and Shanghai.
Xi spoke highly of Lien's contributions to the development of cross-Straits relations, saying that he is a statesman with a strong attachment to the nation and has visionary insight.
As KMT chairman, Lien led a delegation to the mainland in April 2005. It was the first time in 60 years that leaders of the CPC and KMT met each other.
Lien said that cross-Straits relations witnessed rapid growth in the past eight years and that both parties have found the right path to improve ties.
Lien arrived in Beijing on Sunday and is scheduled to leave for Taiwan on Wednesday. The 30-strong delegation has representatives from the political, religious and business sectors as well from the media.
Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou met with Lien on Friday, and asked Lien to extend his greetings to Xi, the Hong Kong-based takungpao.com reported.
Lien sent Taiwan-produced organic food, including oatmeal, dried fruit, and barley noodles, as a gift to Xi, Taiwan-based TVBS reported.
Wang Hailiang, a researcher with the Taiwan Studies Center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said the meeting went well.
"General Secretary Xi Jinping recalled his private friendship with Lien during the meeting, showing his willingness to improve cross-Straits ties," he said.
Chen Xiancai, a professor with the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, said that economic exchanges will continue to play a leading role in cross-Straits relations.
"Political dialogue between the highest leaders of both parties is in the distant future," Chen said. "NGOs, such as think tanks, should take the first step."
Xinhua contributed to the story.
(China Daily 02/26/2013 page1)