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Historical Handshake
2005-5-1 18:56:49     
A historical handshake; the 1st summit meeting in 60 years; a trip full of nostalgic emotions, mixed with rational thinking £­Lien Chan's on-going visit to the mainland.

A historical handshake; the 1st summit meeting in 60 years; a trip full of nostalgic emotions, mixed with rational thinking; reaching five points of consensus on ending hostility and promoting cooperation and exchanges.

Welcome to People in the Know, on China Radio International, or on I'm Lin Shaowen. Today, we feature Chinese Kuomintang leader Lien Chan's on-going visit to the mainland. The highlight of the trip took place on Friday, when Lian Chan met Hu Jintao, general-secretary of Chinese Communist Party.

Hu: "Both of us should jointly strive for peace and stability in order to create the great revitalization of the Chinese nation."

Lien: "We cannot change the past, but we can grasp the opportunities of the future."

They then held talks and issued a joint communiqu¨¦, agreeing to work together to promote cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation in the following five aspects. 

 How do we look at the symbolic and practical significance of what Mr. Lien Chan himself called a peace journey, especially the consensus between the two parties?  I now talk to Mr. Tat Lau, an American Chinese in New York.  Mr. Lau is vice chairman of the New York Association for Peaceful Unification of China.  

It's a tour under heavy spotlight.  Mr. Lien and delegation members paid homage in Nanjing to the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yet Sen, founder of the Chinese Kuomintang Party, and in Xi'an visited a primary school where he studied 60 years ago.  Earlier on Friday, Mr. Lien Chan gave a speech in renowned Peking University, stressing on maintaining peace and seek for a win-win result.

Lien: "We should put the people first and give priority to the people's well-being. This idea is supported by all the Chinese people, including the 23 million residents in Taiwan and the 1.3 billion on the mainland."

Lien : "The path that we are taking today is supported by the people. People do not want to see the confrontation and opposition across the straits. What they want to see is dialogue, reconciliation, and cooperation."

The speech received a warm response from the teachers and students. We now listen to the comments of two students, who presented flowers to Chairman Lien Chan and his wife. One of them, the female graduate student, also had a chance to raise a question to Lien Chan.

Wang Yuanyuan: "Lien Chan's speech has consolidated my belief, that is, people across the staits all long for peace and stability. I am deeply impressed by Mr. Lien as saying that the mainland and Taiwan should join hands for building common prosperity."

Zhao Jiadong: "The speech is very good. That is the first time we have the close contact with the senior official from the Kuomintang. During the speech, Mr Lien mentioned many times on nation and country. That shortens the distance between us."

Welcome back to People in the Know.  For a better understanding the meaning and possible implications of Lien Chan's mainland visit, from an American perspective, I now talk to Prof. Kenneth Lieberthal, Professor of Political Science the University of Michigan.  Professor Lieberthal is a well-known China expert in the United States.  He is now a visiting Fellow at Washington-based Brookings Institution.  

A journey to end old hostility, as a famous Chinese poem goes, "Brothers are still brothers despite all the quarrels and fights that have occurred between them.  And their hatred toward each other will be dispersed with one smile when they meet again." 

But when both parties promised to usher in a better future, the journey must continue, perhaps a long one, with new difficulties. 

With that we end this edition of People in the Know, on China Radio International, or on Thank you for being with us. For my colleague, Wang Li, this is Lin Shaowen. Bye for now.

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