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Ma Ying-Jeou's Mainland Visit: Student exchange program promotes cross-Strait friendship at Peking University
Apr. 11, 2024

Former chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang Party Ma Ying-jeou has led a group of twenty university students from the Taiwan region on a visit to Beijing's Peking University. It was the second student exchange during their 11-day trip to the Chinese mainland, after last week's stop at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou. Huang Yichang reports. 

This isn't just an occasion for Ma Ying-jeou to leisurely practice Taichi. It also marks a significant moment: a heartfelt welcome ceremony hosted by Peking University, where students from both sides of the Strait come together as part of an immersive cultural journey through the Chinese mainland. After a brief tour of the campus, the real welcome ceremony begins.

HUANG YICHANG, Beijing "Ma Ying-jeou emphasized the importance of promoting exchanges and communication between students from both sides of the Strait. As you can see here, in the campus' communication center, mainland students are thrilled to welcome their counterparts from Taiwan."

Some of the students gathering here are old friends, who first met during a previous Cross-Strait exchange program in Taiwan.

MA YING-JEOU, Former Chairman, Chinese Kuomintang Party "Among them are many familiar faces. At the time, we said goodbye with the promise of meeting again in the future. I think we all kept that promise."

During the ceremony, Peking University presented Mr. Ma with an art album and a book of Confucian scriptures published by the university, emphasizing the commitment to uphold and inherit Chinese culture on both sides of the Strait. In return, Ma Ying-jeou presented a dictionary co-developed by experts from both sides, with the aim of unifying language usage.

MA YING-JEOU, Former Chairman, Chinese Kuomintang Party "Before German reunification, there was already the idea of co-editing a dictionary, and immediately after reunification, they compiled a dictionary because, during the period of isolation, there were many inconsistencies in word usage. The same situation exists between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. As such, it's better to act sooner rather than later. Wouldn't you agree?"

In a dinner following the ceremony, lively communication flows among the students, even among those meeting for the first time.

Student from Peking University "Our conversation flowed effortlessly, as our cultural backgrounds are interconnected. We found numerous common topics to discuss."

For many students, the occasion has been a long time coming.

Student from Peking University "We feel closer now, it's like a long-awaited reunion."

Student from Taiwan "I met friends I'd previously met in Taipei. I was deeply moved."

"I just feel everyone has grown up, and their thoughts and ideas have changed."

Reporter: What remains unchanged?

"Our friendship."

Those participating in the tour and reunion at Peking University were clearly enthusiastic about the experience, offering just one example of how youth lead the way toward a brighter, more harmonious Cross-Strait relationship. Huang Yichang, CGTN, Beijing.