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Taiwan, China need to address differences: former premier

Taiwan, China need to address differences: former premier

Xiamen, China, Oct. 5 (CNA) Former Premier Frank Hsieh said in China Friday that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait need to address their differences before their economic relations can advance to a higher level.
Merely "agreeing to disagree" is insufficient to cope with the current challenges in cross-strait economic exchanges, according to Hsieh. "The two sides should tolerate, face, deal with and overcome their differences," he said during a visit to Xiamen University, where he held talks with Taiwan Research Institute head Liu Guoshen and his predecessor Chen Kongli. There is also a need for Taiwan and China to enhance the quality of their educational and cultural exchanges, he added. Holding a similar view, Chen said the two sides should strengthen their exchanges to promote mutual understanding, trust and consensus. Chen said cross-strait educational and cultural exchanges still have much room for expansion, suggesting that Taiwanese universities open their doors wider to Chinese students in light of Taiwan's rich higher education resources. Hsieh arrived in Xiamen a day earlier on the first leg of a private, five-day China visit that will also take him to Beijing. He became the most senior member of the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to set foot on the mainland. Soon after his arrival, Hsieh went to nearby Dongshan Island to pay tribute to his ancestors.
He also left an inscription inside the Hsieh ancestral shrine and presented Taiwanese tea and a self-authored book about Taiwan to clan members. Despite political differences across the strait, Hsieh said a person must not deny his own roots because of political reasons. He expressed the hope that China could one day develop a democracy with characteristics of socialism and offered to share Taiwan's experience in this regard. Also on Dongshan Island, Hsieh made a visit to Tongbo Village, which is also known as "widow village," where many women lost their husbands after the men were taken forcibly to Taiwan by the Kuomintang (KMT) military in 1950. Hsieh said the village is a vestige of the civil war between the KMT and the Communist Party of China.
Although the two parties have reached a reconciliation with each other, there is no way to make up for the broken families, he said. Noting that the DPP has never had a war or feud with the Chinese communists, Hsieh said he hopes his current China visit will facilitate direct communication and help establish mutual trust to avoid misunderstanding. (By Chen Shou-kuo, Tsai Su-jung and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-10-17 07:27 GMT+08:00