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Lien Chan welcomes mainland's gestures of goodwill
Updated: 2005-05-03 13:01

Visiting Chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party Lien Chan said in Shanghai Tuesday the latest gestures from the mainland is conducive to boosting cross-Straits exchanges as well as the "accumulation of goodwill".

China's mainland made clear gestures of goodwill and affinity with its island province Taiwan Tuesday morning with promises to present Taiwan compatriots a pair of giant pandas, remove a ban for mainland residents to travel to the island and open its market wider to fruits produced in Taiwan.

"People on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are pleased with the mainland's decision to donate a pair of pandas to Taiwan compatriots," Lien said in an interview with Xinhua and other leading media organizations from the mainland soon after the decisions were announced by Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Work Office of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

He also welcomed the mainland's decisions to expand access of fruits produced in Taiwan to 18 species from the current 12 and to exempt tariff on at least 10 species of Taiwan fruits.

"This is of great significant to farmers in the central and southern parts of Taiwan. The KMT will actively facilitate the issue once we're back in Taiwan," Lien said.

The mainland's decision to allow its residents to travel to Taiwan on sightseeing tours is another "epoch-making" one, he said."We all witnessed how tourists from the mainland have helped boost the economic recovery in Hong Kong after the travel go-ahead was given years ago."

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