Wang remembered for enhancing ties
By Zhang Kun (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-30 05:54
The funeral of Wang Daohan, president of the mainland-based Association for
Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), will be held today in Shanghai
Longhua Funeral House.
Some of the top officials are expected to attend to bid Wang farewell.
He died in Shanghai's Ruijin Hospital on December 24,
Wang Daohan's funeral will be held in the
Shanghai Longhua Funeral House Friday December 30, 2005.
His death coincided with the one-year anniversary of Koo Chen-fu's death in
Taiwan, according to Chinese lunar calendar.
Koo, chairman of the Taiwan-based Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF), and Wang
in his role as president of ARATS made a milestone negotiation in Singapore in
1993, setting up the basis for any future dialogues between the two
The groups reached a consensus that both would give their own oral statements
on the view that "both sides across the Straits adhere to the one-China
principle." This was later widely known as the '92 Consensus.
Wang and Koo reached agreements on economy, technology and cultural
communications between both sides of the Taiwan Straits. The two maintained a
very close friendship through the years, sharing the same love for traditional
Chinese culture, especially Peking Opera. Koo used to send videos of himself
singing Peking Opera to Wang.
In 1998, Koo came to Shanghai and held the second round of negotiations with
Wang. "Two sides of the Straits don't have to go to a third place to exchange
idea. It (the meeting) was a great encouragement for (further enhancing) the
cross-Straits communications," the then Kuomintang President Lien Chan commented
on the 1998 negotiations.
Having worked on promoting cross-Straits communications for years, Wang had a
life-long regret of not visiting Taiwan himself.
He Pengnian, board chairman of Shanghai Airlines, recalled that when the
airline was founded in 1985, Wang, the mayor of the time picked a symbol of a
red crane on white background for its planes, in the hope that Shanghai Airlines
could achieve non-stop flights to Taiwan.
Last January, when Shanghai Airlines was included among
the mainland airline companies to launch chartered flights to Taiwan during the
Spring Festival, Wang had his secretary contact various institutions about the
flight schedules, sending words to Shanghai Airlines that he wished the company
to carry out the first flight.