Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Welcome move across the Straits

By Zhu Songling (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-27 07:25

As a groundbreaking trip aimed at reviving cross-Straits communications, Zhang's visit to Taiwan is of great political, social and economic importance. Taiwan society is fairly diversified where people differ drastically in their social and political views. Hence, Zhang's direct contact and interactions with grassroots people will help him better understand the public sentiment in Taiwan. In particular, his meeting with youths and small entrepreneurs, who were at the forefront of the protests against the CSSTA, will help the mainland adjust its Taiwan policies.

It is worth noting, though, that the symbolic significance of Zhang's visit outweighs its practical significance, because the two sides have not yet changed their basic positions, which could prevent them from reaching more agreements, and the anti-CSSTA group has reportedly been mobilizing people to begin a new round of protests.

But there is no denying that Zhang's groundbreaking visit to Taiwan reflects the mainland's determination to peacefully resolve cross-Straits issues and address Taiwan people's worries, irrespective of the hindrance the anti-CSSTA group wants to create. More importantly, Zhang's visit also opens a window of opportunity for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party to hold talks with the mainland and help further strengthen cross-Straits relations.

The author is a professor with the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Beijing Union University.

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