BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese mainland expert on Taiwan studies on Wednesday hailed the historic first formal meeting between cross-Strait affairs chiefs from the two sides.
In a signed article, Dang Chaosheng, an academic with the Taiwan Studies Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the event is an important milestone in peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.
There is no doubt that the meeting will enhance cross-Strait communication and mutual understanding, according to Dang's article, available online at www.xinhuanet.com.
Zhang Zhijun, head of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, held a formal meeting with Wang Yu-chi, Taiwan's mainland affairs chief, on Tuesday afternoon in Nanjing, capital of the mainland's Jiangsu Province.
It marked the first formal contact between the cross-Strait affairs authorities, as well as their chief officials, since 1949.
At their meeting, the two leaders agreed to open a regular communication channel between their departments, the result of deepening mutual political trust on the basis of the "1992 consensus."
The meeting will also help better protect the common interests of compatriots across the Strait and consolidate the two sides' joint efforts to deepen mutual relations, Dang wrote in the article.
He said the coming-together of the two sides will establish a new channel for cross-Strait communication, as in the past, talks between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan counterpart the Straits Exchange Foundation, two non-official organizations, were the the only mode of contact and negotiation.
Moreover, the breakthrough will expand the spectrum of cross-Strait exchanges, according to the article, which predicted that the two authorities may also form a mechanism for regular contacts and visits.
Such direct and convenient exchanges will help the two sides communicate and coordinate on matters more efficiently so that misgivings, worries and misunderstandings can be addressed instantly, Dang said.
"The meeting is a corollary of the ever-increasing political mutual trust between the two sides, and it is also another step for the deepening of this trust," he wrote.
"Cross-Strait relations will also be brought into a brand-new era," according to the expert's article.
It hailed Zhang and Wang's talks as "one of the most important breakthroughs in the history of cross-Strait relations since 1949."
According to Dang, the event proved that Chinese people of the mainland and Taiwan have the ability and wisdom to take the reins of cross-Strait development in their own hands.
He further called on both sides to value the hard-earned achievements of the ties' peaceful development.
However, he also warned, "As cross-Strait relations progress, some deep-seated troubles may also loom, and that requires us to bestow more confidence, patience and determination."
The two chiefs' meeting should therefore be taken as an opportunity to strengthen communication, promote understanding and secure a better, steadier and faster development of cross-Strait relations, Dang wrote.