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Mainland hopes KMT-CPC exchanges strengthened under new KMT chairman

  BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese mainland official expressed hope Wednesday that the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) will continue their healthy interaction after the KMT elects its new chairman.

  Fan Liqing, a spokeswoman with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said that in promoting cross-Straits relations, the principles of "easier issues before difficult ones, economic issues before political ones" and "following a step-by-step rhythm" should be adhered to.

  However, the two sides "will not deliberately shun complicated and sensitive issues," she said at a press briefing here. "Instead, they should blaze trails and create conditions in the process."

  She said the exchanges between the two parties will promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and benefit people from both sides.

  The KMT is scheduled to elect a new chairman on July 26. Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou has announced his plan to run for the post.

  Fan told the briefing that the mainland and Taiwan are making preparations for possible consultations on a cross-Straits economic cooperation pact, which could "begin in the latter half of the year".

  She also invited Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members to visit the mainland for more mutual understanding.

  "In terms of inter-party exchanges, so long as the DPP changes its secessionist stance, we are ready to give positive responses," she said.