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Media praise China-Taiwan talks

Taiwan's Chiang Pin-kung is presented with a bouquet of flowers on arrival in Beijing on June 11, 2008.
The Taiwanese team will spend four days in Beijing

The media in both China and Taiwan are in a mood of hopeful excitement at the start of the first formal talks between the two sides in a decade.

China's main Communist Party newspaper talks of a "new era", but warns that a long road still lies ahead.

Commentators in Taiwan and Hong Kong see a new willingness to compromise on the side of both Beijing and Taipei - as long as the thorny issue of Taiwan's status is kept in the background.

EDITORIAL IN CHINA DAILY

The resumption of the cross-straits negotiation today in Beijing will usher in a new era in the history of the relations between the mainland and Taiwan... The mainland and Taiwan do have disputes, given the island's isolation from the mainland since 1949, which means that negotiations will be long and far from easy... Both sides had worked hard to seek common points while reserving differences in explaining the political content of one China.

TAIWAN'S CHINA REVIEW WEBSITE

From today onwards, the peaceful development of cross-strait relations is no longer far off!... The basic structure, main contradictions, and essential nature of the relationship will change one after another from today onwards... The fundamental attitude is rationality, equality and respect during the negotiation, in pursuit of cross-strait peace and mutual prosperity... There are no issues that cannot be resolved through negotiation.

TAIWAN'S UNITED DAILY NEWS

Clearly, both parties have decided to put aside their difference on the issue of sovereignty in pursuit of common ground. However, the issue of the Republic of China's fundamental relationship with the mainland will still inevitably arise, starting with the way the negotiators address each other... The problem lies not in whether this relationship is clear or not, but in how to open up a space for further negotiations which is acceptable to both sides. It has been proved that the less clear the relationship is, the larger the room for manoeuvre.

US-BASED WORLD JOURNAL (FOR OVERSEAS CHINESE)

At today's talks, there may be no romantic or "sparkling" scenes of the kind anticipated by the media. But they are highly important in practical terms. If consensus is reached, there will certainly be fruitful results... The only possible "accident" would be a faster progress, wider scope and larger scale of negotiations.

LEE PING IN HONG KONG'S APPLE DAILY

Whatever the motives are, these talks have made at least three big strides compared to the talks held 15 years ago. First, both sides are more ambiguous about "One China" and reunification, indicating that ideological conflicts are diminishing. Second, the delegates from both sides are more high-ranking... Third, both sides will sign agreements on weekend chartered direct flights and on opening up Taiwan to tourists from the mainland.

EDITORIAL IN HONG KONG'S WEN WEI PO

The greatest significance of the resumption of talks lies in the official resumption of the cross-strait negotiation mechanism that has been suspended for 13 years. It has a profound influence on the long-held opposition across the strait, helps institutionalise and normalise cross-strait negotiations and strengthens mutual understanding and the emotional bond between the compatriots on both sides.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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