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Chiang: Momentum key to cross-Straits ties
By Hu Meidong and Li Dapeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-17 06:55

FUZHOU: The mainland and Taiwan should continue the trend of improving mutual relations after the visits of Kuomintang leader Lien Chan and People First Party Chairman James Soong, Chiang Hsiao-yen, the son of former Taiwan "president" Chiang Ching-kuo, told reporters yesterday.

Chiang Hsiao-yen and his wife arrive at the airport in Guilin, Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in this April 3, 2005 file photo. Chiang, son of later Taiwan leader Chiang Ching-kuo, was here to make pilgrimage to the tombs of his mother's ancestors before going to Xikou, Zhejiang Proivnce to honor the dead of the Chiang family at the traditional Chinese Qingming Festival, known as "Tomb Sweeping Day." [newsphoto]
Chiang arrived in the capital of East China's Fujian Province as a guest invited by the organizing committee of the Seventh Cross-Straits Fair for Economy and Trade, to be held from tomorrow to Sunday.

"I'm optimistic to see future relations between the mainland and Taiwan," Chiang said. "We should look forward to the joint development of both."

Chiang said Lien's and Soong's visits to the mainland were important to mainland-Taiwan relations.

The large number of Taiwan business people expanding their businesses on the mainland in recent years is another reason the exchanges across the Taiwan Straits should be further strengthened, Chiang said.

Chiang also said he hoped the direct flight, scheduled for the next Lunar New Year, would not be stopped. Further, he wished regular air and sea transport between Taiwan and the mainland could be restored soon.

"I hope the two sides can have normal communications... which is only a problem of time and should never be opposed and disturbed by anyone," he said. In addition, there is plenty of room for the development of agricultural co-operation, he noted.

Being so close, Fujian has a particular advantage and potential to develop an agricultural collaboration with Taiwan, Chiang told China Daily.

A large volume of agricultural products has entered the mainland through the "small three links" between the two provinces. Many Taiwanese investors have been successful in their agriculture-related businesses in Fujian, Chiang said.

In his one-day stay here, Chiang will talk to government officials and Taiwanese business people.

(China Daily 05/17/2005 page2)

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