07/27/2009, 00.00
CHINA – TAIWAN
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Hu Jintao congratulates Ma Ying-jeou on his election as KMT chief

This is first time leaders from the two sides engage in a friendly exchange. Both sides are on the same side in terms of mutually beneficial economic development.
Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a congratulatory telegram to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou after his Sunday election as head of the ruling Kuomintang party (KMT). This is the first friendly note exchanged by leaders on either side of the Taiwan Strait in 60 years. It must be noted however that Hu sent his message as a head of the mainland’s Communist Party to Ma as head of the KMT. Although anti-Communist, the KMT venerates Sun Yat-sen as one of its founding fathers.

“I hope our two parties can continue to promote peaceful cross-Strait development, deepen mutual trust, bring good news to compatriots on both sides and create a revival of the great Chinese race,” Mr Hu said in the message.

In his response Ma said that the “two sides should work toward this goal under the principle of facing reality, building mutual trust, shelving controversies and creating a win-win solution.

The thaw in Sino-Taiwanese relations began with Ma’s election in May 2008 when he replaced pro-independence Chen Shuibian.

In the last few months important agreements have been signed by the two parties to establish permanent air, sea and postal links.

For Taipei, opening to mainland China is expected to facilitate the flow of Chinese capital and tourists to the island.

For Beijing it means getting access to Taiwanese entrepreneurship, which is more developed and better prepared to cope with the world environment than its home-grown businessmen.

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