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Lien calls for gradual cross-strait exchanges

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Vice President Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday that cross-strait cultural exchanges and educational cooperation are conducive for the cultivation of talents; however, both sides of the strait should push for results in a gradual manner with patience and confidence.

Lien yesterday visited Peking University (北京大學) with his wife, Lien Fang-yu (連方瑀), Kuomintang Vice Chairman Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正), former Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中), deputy chief of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, and was given the title of honorary professor.

Peking University President Wang Enge (王恩哥) said that his university has always attached great importance to cross-strait cooperation and exchanges over education and academic research, whereas Lien responded by saying that Peking University is a prestigious member of academia, and the university has cultivated generations of talent who are not afraid to express their own ideas and to put those ideas into practice, helping propel societal development forward.

Both sides of the strait share a cultural heritage, and because of this common heritage, both sides also have a shared identity, Lien said, adding that in an ever-changing world full of challenges, members of academia have a special responsibility to ensure the realization of that heritage's bright future.

Lien also attended a forum with the university's students and was asked to comment on Taiwan's creative industries.

The former vice president replied by saying that Chinese culture is very broad in scope, and within that scope lies many opportunities that were previously neglected.

The U.S. created the animated film “Kung Fu Panda,” transforming Chinese culture into U.S. dollar bills, Lien said, citing the example as worthy of reflection.

Cross-strait cultural exchanges and educational cooperation are conducive for the cultivation of talent and the increase of Taiwan and mainland China's competitiveness in the global arena, Lien said.

However, neither side should push for quick results, because there has to be patience and confidence in order to recreate a golden era of Chinese civilization, the former vice president added.

Lien Holds Key to Paramount Leader of China: UEN

Meanwhile, the United Evening News published a commentary maintaining that Lien, despite not holding office, still has access to the paramount leader of mainland China.

This is the second time that Lien has met with Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平).

The article said that Lien's position on cross-strait ties is similar to the Guidelines for National Reunification established under former President Lee Teng-hui. Lien's position, according to the commentary, is to engage in political talks and negotiations with mainland China in a scenario in which the Republic of China has received sufficient political recognition.

The commentary argued that Lien's position is not a compromise to Beijing, but neither is it a ploy to use the R.O.C. as a stepping stone toward Taiwan independence.

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