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KMT chairman Lien Chan arrives in Xi'an
Updated: 2005-04-30 14:26

Visiting Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) Party Chairman Lien Chan arrived at Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, the third leg on his eight-day mainland tour, at around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Compared with Lien's speeches delivered immediately after the charter flight with the 60-member KMT delegation aboard hit the ground in east China's Nanjing and Beijing, remarks made by the KMT leader at the aprons of the Xi'an's Xianyang Airport Saturday morning were more personal and nostalgic.

The 69-year old Lien was born in Xi'an in 1936 and left the northwestern city eight years later.

"Childhood is the most beautiful and valuable period of time for anyone under whatever circumstances," said Lien, voicing his wish to trace some childhood recollection during his stay in the city.

Lien extended special thanks to the students and teachers from the Xi'an Houzaimen Primary School, where he once studied over five decades ago, for coming to the airport to greet him.

Although his childhood memories were mostly related to the anti-Japanese war chaos in Xi'an, the scenes, people and primary schooleducation in the city have been lingering in his mind throughout all these years, said Lien.

"Xi'an not only belongs to China but also becomes the world cultural heritage representing a long-standing spirit," commented Lien, calling Xi'an "our ancient cultural capital" and "embodimentof the amalgamation of varied cultures and nationalities" for locating at the outset of the Silk Road.

The party leader from Taiwan also referred to the current situation across the Taiwan Straits as "unprecedented" and said hedid not want the current cross-Straits condition to "continue as it is" as a member of the "Chinese nation".

"We are very much enlightened by the long-standing and tolerantspirit of Xi'an," said Lien, calling for a "bright and beautiful future" on the basis of more understanding and mutual trust acrossthe Taiwan Straits.

Lien was scheduled to visit the primary school he used to attend and paid homage to the tomb of his grandmother in Xi'an before heading for east China's Shanghai Municipality, the last stop on his eight-day mainland mission. He is leaving the mainlandon May 3.

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