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Taiwan leader unveils peace monument on anniversary of cross-Strait talks

by April 29, 2016 General

TAIPEI, April 29 (Xinhua) — A “monument to peace” celebrating the development of cross-Strait ties was unveiled Friday by Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou.

The decision to erect the monument in Kinmen, a former military stronghold between Taiwan and the mainland, is significant as it not only commemorates the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties but is a sign of hope that peace and prosperity can be maintained, Ma said in his speech at the unveiling ceremony.

Ma also attended an event to mark the 23rd anniversary of the historic “Wang-Koo meeting.”

In April 1993, Wang Daohan, then head of the mainland Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), and Koo Chen-fu, then chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), met in Singapore. The meeting is seen as the start of a better cross-Strait relationship.

ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to engage in cross-Strait talks.

The Wang-Koo meeting saw the inking of four agreements, the first time that groups assigned by both sides had signed formal agreements, setting a milestone for future peaceful development of cross-Strait ties, he said.

The meeting also set a precedent for cross-Strait institutional consultation, ushering in a new era across the Taiwan Strait, which “dissolves hostility through negotiations and replaces confrontation with talks”, said Ma.

The meeting followed the 1992 Consensus centering on one-China principle, according to Ma.

The progression from the signing of the 1992 Consensus to the Wang-Koo meeting is heralded as a huge step forward for cross-Strait relations, he said.

Since 2008, the two sides have signed 23 agreements. Last November, leaders across the Strait met in Singapore, the first time since 1949.

To push the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties on the basis of the 1992 Consensus is the only effective and right way, he stressed.

Ma Ying-jeou is ending his leadership term. The newly-elected leader Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party will take office on May 20.