Lien pays homage to Chinese hero
Crowds of well wishers had gathered on the mausoleum steps
The leader of Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party Lien Chan has visited the tomb of Sun Yat-sen, regarded as the father of modern China, in Nanjing.
Mr Lien visited the former leader's grave as part of a historic eight-day, four-city visit to China.
Mr Lien is due to hold talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday.
It will be the first meeting between Nationalist and Communist Party leaders since the Nationalists fled to Taiwan after losing China's civil war in 1949.
Mr Lien, who was born in China, has called his trip to the mainland a journey of peace - saying he hopes it will help the two sides work towards reconciliation after more than half a century of conflict.
Critics say Mr Lien, who steps down this year, sees the visit as a chance to ensure his political legacy.
Ruled by separate governments since end of Chinese civil war in 1949
China considers the island part of its territory
China has offered a "one country, two systems" solution, like Hong Kong
Most people in Taiwan support status quo
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Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which favours independence from China, says Beijing is using the visit to try and split public opinion in Taiwan.
The BBC's Francis Markus, in Nanjing, says hundreds of well-wishers, many of them elderly, had gathered to greet Mr Lien
They jostled to try and get a better view, then applauded as the delegation filed down one of the mausoleum's alleys, our correspondent says.
After his visit Mr Lien addressed the crowd, expressing hope that China and Taiwan would co-operate on economic development.
"We must endeavour together to make in the 21st century a truly great Chinese people," he said.
Mr Lien bowed three times to Sun Yat-sen's statue
The BBC's Caroline Gluck, in Taiwan, says the already strained relations between China and Taiwan have worsened in the wake of China's recently passed anti-secession law, which legalises the use of force against Taiwan if the island moves towards formal independence.
Mr Lien is being accompanied by senior officials from the Nationalist, or Kuomintang, party, and by more than 100 reporters.
The government, initially strongly critical, is now cautiously backing the trip.
President Chen Shui-bian has said visits to China by opposition leaders would have his blessing if they acted according to the law and did not sign agreements with Beijing without government authorisation.
Another opposition leader, James Soong, head of the pro-unification People First Party, has also accepted an invitation to visit the mainland, and is expected to travel to China next month.
- 2 decades agoFavorite Answer
I think it's about time that things start to change. Taiwan and China have been fighting too long for nothing. It's a good thing that both side are willing to sit down peacefully and exchange some opinions. The truth is that there are many issues that need to be taking care of for the sake of people. Eventhough I do not believe in "one country, two systems". China government is still trying to hold on to as much power as they could grab, which they will not allowed Taiwan to have as much freemdom as we have now if we are to be united as one. However I do agree with President Chen, as long as Mr. Lien do not do anything foolish with out the government authorisation, we should give our blessing. Before we face out enemy, know your enemy.Source(s): just my opinion
- 2 decades ago
- Mr．王子Lv 62 decades ago