Taiwan-China: first highest-level contact in 60 years

The leader of Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a meeting with Chinese President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/11/26/39995_.html ' target=_blank>Hu Jintao in the highest-level contact in six decades between groups whose civil war split China in 1949.

Lien Chan, whose Nationalist Party ruled Taiwan for five decades until losing power in 2000, is the highest-ranking Taiwanese political figure to set foot on the mainland since 1949.

His scheduled meeting with President Hu Jintao on Friday will be the highest-level contact in almost six decades between groups who were once bitter foes but now want Taiwan-China unification.

Beijing has been scrambling to contain what it sees as rising pro-independence sentiment on the self-governed island of Taiwan, which it claims as Chinese territory, tells ABC News.

According to Xinhuanet, Hu Jintao, general secretary of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2001/07/25/10955.html ' target=_blank>CPC Central Committee, will meet the delegation in Beijing Friday. This will be the first meeting between chiefs of the two parties in 60 years.

KMT spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen said the delegation was moved and very much inspired by the warmth of Nanjing people. KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung described the Nanjing visit as a nostalgic trip as the delegation paid homage to the Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen, forerunner of China's Democratic Revolution and founder of the KMT.

He described the coming visit to Beijing as a trip of reconciliation, the visit to Xi'an as a home-coming trip and the trip to Shanghai, China's financial capital and the last leg of the mainland visit, as a trip of hope.

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