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Remarks Made by SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu Upon Arrival at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport

Koo Chen-fu
Chairman
Straits Exchange Foundation
October 14, 1998

It has been 53 years since I left Shanghai. Thus, to be able to come back here again today after such a long absence stirs many deep thoughts and emotions. Looking back at cross-strait relations, it was only in 1987--after more than 40 years of separation--that contact was allowed between people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Five years ago, I met with Chairman Wang Daohan of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits in Singapore for historic talks. At that meeting, four agreements were signed which would establish a stable foundation for further developments and set up a system for future contacts and institutionalized consultations between the SEF and the ARATS. Today, I am extremely pleased to see how flourishing Shanghai is today, as well as the current prosperity in the economic and trade fields between the two sides.

I am confident that normalized and institutionalized contacts between the SEF and the ARATS will have a great influence on the future development of cross-strait relations. I sincerely hope that this time, the exchange of ideas with Chairman Wang Daohan will assist in promoting deeper and better cooperation between our respective organizations, thereby helping to improve cross-strait relations even further. Shanghai is a key area in the economic development of the Chinese mainland with frequent exchanges between businessmen here and from Taiwan. As a result, the number of cases related to people's rights and interests has risen greatly in proportion to the number of increased contacts between the two sides. It is therefore extremely vital for pertinent agencies on both sides to start trying to solve the problems that are of greatest concern to the people, especially those items related to their rights and interests. Only by so doing can the integral development of bilateral relations take a positive step forward.

I will have several opportunities to talk with Mr. Wang on this visit to Shanghai--truly a rare opportunity. I am confident that by working hard together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding, we will be able to create mutual trust for each other. Finally, I hope that the two sides can look at problems from a broader point of view and seek the right path for further expanding bilateral relations through constructive dialogues.

I thank you all, and extend my best regards to the people of Shanghai!