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Wish to visit Taiwan still very strong: Premier Wen

BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Sunday that his wish to visit Taiwan remains "very strong."

"I still cherish the wish to visit Taiwan one day," Wen said at a press conference after the annual parliament session concluded, adding the Chinese history of 5,000 years has "a strong appeal and cohesive force."

"The 5,000-year Chinese culture shall not be abandoned because of the politics of the past 50 years."

He cited an example of a famous ancient painting, of which half is kept in a museum in the eastern Hangzhou city on the mainland and the other in Taipei's National Palace Museum.

He said he hopes the two parts of the painting, or "Scenery of the Fuchun Mountain" by Huang Gongwang in Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), could be put together again soon. "I cherish the same wish not only for the painting but also for people on both sides of the Strait."

Zhu Weidong, deputy head of the Institute of Taiwan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Wen's reference to the painting showed the unique role of the Chinese culture in promoting peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.

He said focus on cultural ties and improving cultural exchanges would create favorable conditions for both sides across the Taiwan Strait to solve political issues.

On the same occasion, Wen said signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is a complex process but problems will be resolved as "we (the mainland and Taiwan) are brothers."

He said the mainland will let Taiwan people benefit more from the ECFA through tariff concession.

The ECFA reflects the interest of both sides of the Strait, he said, noting the principles of "equal consultations, mutual benefit and accommodation of each other's concerns" in the process of negotiation.

"Full consideration should be given to economic conditions of both sides, care the interests of small- and medium- sized enterprises and the public in Taiwan, particularly the interests of the island's farmers," he said.

Zhu said Wen's remarks was a solemn commitment to Taiwan and the Taiwan compatriots.

"His remarks showed the mainland's goodwill and sincerity and would help Taiwan compatriots better understand mainland's policies and the necessity and importance of signing the ECFA," Zhu said.

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