|Zhang Zhijun (L), director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council, meets with Taiwan's mainland affairs chief Wang Yu-chi in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, June 25, 2014. It was their second meeting this year. Wang visited the mainland in February. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)|
TAIPEI, June 25 -- The Chinese mainland's chief of Taiwan affairs Zhang Zhijun on Wednesday underscored his long-waited trip to Taiwan, and called for continuous efforts to boost cross-Strait ties.
"My flight from Beijing to Taipei took me less than three hours. But it took us 65 years to make that flight possible," Zhang said when meeting with Wang Yu-chi, director of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, at a hotel near the airport.
He added that mutual visits made by himself and Wang within six months and the setting up of a communication mechanism between cross-Strait affairs authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait had been deemed "unimaginable" in earlier years.
Zhang is the first director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office to visit the island. Wang Yu-chi visited the mainland in February.
While extending his welcome to Zhang, Wang Yu-chi said cross-Strait relations had witnessed "twists and turns", and even the smallest progress had not come easily. His meetings with Zhang over the last six months were the result of shelving differences and seeking win-win solutions. The meetings are the best proof of steady progress towards peace and stability.
Zhang expressed hope that both sides could further enhance mutual political trust, step up communication and cooperation, and boost grass-root exchanges between people, especially the younger generation, from both sides of the Strait.
Comparing cross-Strait ties to a boat sailing against the current, Zhang urged both sides to "keep forging ahead lest risk being left lagging behind."
"As long as people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait work together, we will be able to overcome the current difficulties and attain new development in cross-Strait ties which will benefit all," he said.
According to the schedule released earlier, Zhang will spend four days on the island, paying visits to New Taipei City, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Changhua County.