The fourth meeting of the Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum between China and Taiwan began in Shanghai on Saturday morning, providing another opportunity to the two sides to further ease their decades-long tension.
The forum, organised to establish trade and cultural ties between the two sides, came after China and Taiwan ended a six decade-ban on direct transport and postal links Dec 15. Experts believe the resumption of links may boost Taiwan's $380 billion economy that is heading for its first recession in seven years.
Jia Qinglin, the Communist Party of China (CPC) member and chairman of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, congratulated the opening of the forum and said it would further strengthen trade and cultural ties between the two sides.
Wu Poh-hsiung, Chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT), said the two sides should treasure current opportunity of development as direct links of transport, trade and mail services between the two sides have been resumed recently.
"It is the two parties' courage and determination in recent years that has created today's situation," Wu said.
Wang Yi, director of the CPC's Taiwan Work Office, said the forum bore a positive meaning of "carrying on the past and opening a way for future" as the cross-Straits relation has obviously developed and improved.
"I hope the forum will play a positive role in deepening cross-Straits economic and trade cooperation and advance peaceful development of the cross-Straits relation," he said.
More than 400 delegates of both the sides, including businessmen, experts, officials of the CPC and the KMT, attended the forum.
Meanwhile, Taipei Premier Liu Chao-shiuan has said his government will allow its top officials, military personnel and business executives to visit China.
"The interior ministry and the mainland affairs council have reached the consensus. Within a short time, they will revise the law to allow officials, military personnel and state enterprise executives to visit China," the premier was quoted as saying by the China Times.
Ties between China and Taiwan, separated since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, have been warming since Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou took office in May.