Tags: Taiwan | Nationalists | Leader | Visits | China

Taiwan Nationalists Leader Visits China

Wednesday, 30 March 2005 12:00 AM

"My heart was filled with limitless excitement and deep emotion," Chiang said. "It was very moving to visit."

Chiang also visited the former Nationalist presidential office, where he signed a guest book with the phrase, "Icebreaking journey."

Chiang's visit comes amid a surge in tensions over a new Chinese law authorizing an attack on self-ruled Taiwan if it tries to make its de facto independence permanent.

"We hope the current crisis can be minimized," Chiang said after arriving in Beijing later Wednesday for the last leg of his mainland visit.

The trip comes just days after hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese marched to protest China's anti-secession law, passed earlier this month.

"After the anti-secession law was enacted we saw reactions and protests (in Taiwan)," Chiang said. "The Beijing authorities have likely heard it for themselves but we have also brought the voice of the Taiwanese people with us."

In Beijing, Chiang attended a dinner at the Diaoyutai state guest house hosted by Chen Yunlin, the chief of the Chinese Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office. Chen said the delegation's visit served to open "party to party dialogue."

Both the Nationalists and the Communists see his five-day trip as sealing a reconciliation. They have found common cause in their desire to unite Taiwan with the mainland and their dislike for independence-minded Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian.

Taiwan cut ties with China after 1949, but trade and travel have flourished since the 1990s. Though they still have no official relations, Taiwanese businesses have invested more than $100 billion on the mainland.

The anti-secession law was overwhelmingly condemned in Taiwan. Taiwan says the law is a pretext for an attack. Beijing accuses Chen of manipulating public opinion to boost a drive for the island's independence and insists the law only seeks to ensure the status quo and a peaceful resolution.

Chiang and his 30-member delegation have made no public comments on the anti-secession law and have played down political differences between the two sides.

Chiang called for the two sides to draw inspiration from Sun.

"The people on the two sides ought to take Sun Yat-sen as a teacher and together create a win-win situation," he said outside Sun's mausoleum.

Chiang began his mainland tour Monday in the southern city of Guangzhou, where he laid a wreath at a shrine to activists killed in a failed 1911 uprising just months before Sun's victory.

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"My heart was filled with limitless excitement and deep emotion," Chiang said. "It was very moving to visit." Chiang also visited the former Nationalist presidential office, where he signed a guest book with the phrase, "Icebreaking journey." Chiang's visit comes amid a...
Taiwan,Nationalists,Leader,Visits,China
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2005-00-30
Wednesday, 30 March 2005 12:00 AM
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