Shanghai Party chief meets Ma Ying-jeou, 'peace, cooperation the common voice across Straits'
Published: Apr 05, 2023 11:43 PM

Chen Jining, the secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, met with former chairperson of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party Ma Ying-jeou on Wednesday. 

Ma on Wednesday arrived at Shanghai, the final stop of his trip to the mainland, where he stressed that maintaining peaceful and stable cross-Straits relations is the mainstream view of people in Taiwan. 

Chen told Ma that the mainland and Taiwan region share a common bloodline, history and culture, and that he was moved by Ma's paying homage to his ancestors in Hunan Province, which is a manifestation of traditional Chinese culture.

Peaceful development, exchanges and cooperation are "the common voice of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits," Chen said, noting that "we should uphold the concept that both sides across the Straits are one family," and make continuous efforts to increase friendship and support for each side. 

Shanghai is one of the mainland's most active cities in terms of cross-Straits cooperation, has the largest concentration of businessmen from the island living here and the greatest  frequency of travel to and from Taiwan, Chen said. 

Shanghai will continue to deepen cooperation and exchanges with Taiwan as always, create better conditions for cross-Straits youth exchanges, and provide better services and business environment for Taiwan enterprises to invest and operate in the city, he continued.

Ma reiterated the 1992 Consensus, saying he's committed to promoting the peaceful and stable development of cross-Straits relations, especially promoting exchanges and mutual understanding between young people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.

Ma also visited the Yangshan Port, which has been rated the world's largest and most intelligent automated container terminal, and the operation management center of Pudong New Area. Ma praised the highly intelligent mode of operation of Yangshan Port's unmanned terminal.

Gu Jinshan, Chairman of Shanghai International Port Group, told Ma that the fourth-phase automated terminal of the Yangshan Port has improved operational efficiency by greatly reducing labor input and carbon emissions. The biggest breakthrough is the installation of self-developed chips, which is the core of the safe and reliable operation of the automated terminal at Yangshan Port, said Gu. Shanghai Port has had the world's largest container throughput for 12 consecutive years, with Yangshan Port contributing more than 50 percent of the total.

Ma will take the Taiwan student delegation to visit Fudan University in Shanghai with the aim of boosting youth exchanges between the two sides.

Ma's trip is the first to the mainland by a former Taiwan regional leader since 1949.

Apart from paying respects to his ancestors, he also led a group of Taiwan students for communication and exchange activities in the mainland cities of Nanjing, Wuhan, Changsha, Chongqing and Shanghai. 

Ma also paid visits to a number of historical sites where the KMT participated in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), including Sihang Warehouse Battle Memorial in Shanghai, Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders in Nanjing, and the Chongqing Anti-Japanese War Heritage Museum.

The places Ma visited in the past few days are very representative as they either mean a lot to Ma himself or have a profound meaning that suggest both sides across the Straits belong to one and the same China, or serve as a vivid example of the progress that the mainland has made, Zhu Songling, a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies in Beijing Union University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"Ma and the young people who came with him could see all the accomplishments the CPC has led the whole country in making with their own eyes. These accomplishments may open their eyes on their view of the CPC as they reflected on the CPC's unchanged original aspiration and relentless efforts in pursuing the wellbeing of the Chinese people and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said Zhu.

To help repair the sense of national and cultural identity for Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, which has been damaged by secessionists and foreign forces, it's important for people on the island to better learn that the mainland has been very successful in terms of development and governance, has made internationally recognized achievements in past decades and is now gaining increasing respect among members of the international community. This will gradually make Taiwan compatriots understand the benefits of reunification, and more and more people will give their support to the reunification process, experts noted.

Zhu added that Ma's trip could also clarify the truth to the international community that both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China in terms of history, law and consciousness, and can also tell the world that cross-Straits relations are an internal affair rather than a state-to-state one.