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KMT chairman arrives in Beijing( with picture)

  BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Chairman Lien Chan of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party of China arrived inBeijingat about11:10Thursday to continue his eight-day mainland visit.

  Beijingis the second leg on his mainland visit itinerary, next toNanjing, which used to be the capital of the Republic of China, and followed byXi'anandShanghai.

  Upon his arrival inNanjingTuesday afternoon, Lien said at the aprons ofNanjingLukouAirportthat his visit to the mainland will be a "historic first step" for the promotion of cross-Straits relations.

  This is the first time that the KMT chairman has set feet on the mainland since 1949 when the KMT lost a civil war to the Communist Party of China (CPC) and fled to

  Taiwan

  , an island province opposite to eastern coastalFujianProvince.

  After warm-ups led by KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kung in March, Lien was invited by the CPC Central Committee and General Secretary Hu Jintao.

  The Hu-Lien summit, which was scheduled for Friday, will be the first of its kind between the CPC and the KMT in nearly six decades.

  Late CPC Chairman Mao Zedong and KMT Chairman Chiang Kai-shek conducted the latest meeting in August 1945 inChongqing, the wartime capital of

  China

  , in a bid to negotiate a truce. The two sides failed to clinch a formal peace till now.

  Lien's mainland visit was described by the KMT as a "journey of peace".

  In a speech after paying homage to Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1886-1925), founding father of the KMT Wednesday morning, Lien said the two sides across the Straits should strive to achieve common prosperity in a peaceful and going-all-out mentality against the backdrop of the current "stalemate".

  BesidesNanjingandBeijing, Lien was scheduled to visitXi'an, where he was born on the eve of the invasion of the Japanese troops, andShanghai, the biggest financial and trade hub in the mainland. Enditem