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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 March, 2005, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Press upbeat over Taiwan opposition visit

The visit to mainland China by a delegation of Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), has been received enthusiastically by newspapers in the region.

The mainland press and pro-Beijing papers in Hong Kong see the visit as a promising development in cross-Strait relations. It comes amid tension generated by a new Chinese law permitting the use of force against Taiwan if it moves to declare full independence.

But one Hong Kong pro-Beijing daily challenges Taiwan's governing party to follow the Kuomintang lead in seeking rapprochement.

A headline in Beijing's official China Daily proclaims: "KMT trip to benefit cross-Straits relations"

Visit highlights common roots of people on both sides of the Strait
Xin Jing Bao

The commentary describes the visit as "historic", and goes on to "hope the trip will become one reconciliation to help ease recent tensions in cross-straits relations".

An editorial in Beijing's Xin Jing Bao believes the visit "highlights the common roots and common feelings of people on both sides of the Strait".

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po seeks to stress the differences between the Kuomintang and Taiwan's ruling party, in an editorial headlined "Kuomintang breaks the ice, how about the Democratic Progressive Party[DPP]?"

It accuses the DPP of "deliberately misleading" the Taiwanese people over the anti-secession law, "and attempting to create new tension and opposition at a sensitive time".

And it praises the Kuomintang for bringing "a message of practical communication" which it believes will have "positive significance for promoting the development of cross-Strait relations".

A show of wisdom and courage by the party
Ta Kung Pao

For another Beijing-backed daily in Hong Kong, Ta Kung Pao, the visit is in line with public opinion in Taiwan. It says 85 per cent of respondents to a recent public opinion poll hoped for cross-Strait reconciliation.

"The Kuomintang has seen the tide of public opinion, and has taken a step which conforms to this trend. This is a show of wisdom and courage by the party. We wish them a successful visit!"

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