Monday, 15 December 2008

A Belated Christmas Gift Delivered Early

Today shall be remembered for the re-establishment of the three direct links - flight, freight and postal services - across the Taiwan Straits.

For many Chinese people, both at home and abroad, this is a belated Christmas gift that is delivered 10 days in advance.

As discussed in this blog in July when the agreement was signed, the re-establishment of the three direct links are by all means welcomed, even it may cause repercussions on the Hong Kong's position as an entrepot. Like President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan aptly said, this re-connection indicates the disposal of hostility and replaces with co-operation for mutual benefits.

Certainly, this reconciliation has been longed for more than half a century. This is a remarkable achievement that was unthinkable even 10 years ago. This is a great leap forward that should be celebrated not only by Chinese people but also their neighbours around the world.

For many years countless people in China have been suffering from torture of longing for reunion with their families torn apart by war and upheavals. As a student I had read enough of those heartbreaking stories of husbands and wives, mothers and sons, brothers and sisters forced to part for whatever changes the political crises and unrest had brought about. People at those times were so helpless and desperate and yet many of them managed to cope with the life-threatening hardships that fell upon them. Sometimes I just wonder if it is truly justified to say that the younger generations are more "capable" than the previous ones. As I can see in recent years, we are by no means stronger than our forefathers simply due to a lack of training of challenges. The ability to use computers or electronic gadgets doesn't really mean we are smarter or stronger, especially when hard times hit us in the face.

One of the greatest poets in Chinese history Du Fu (712-770 AD) once wrote, "The smoke of violence has spread for three consecutive months, thus making a letter from the family worth 10,000 pieces of gold." A clever journalist of Now TV News recited these two sentences in the lead paragraph of his report of the three re-connections last night, which drove me to tears within split of a second.

By all means, it is my humble hope that what Du Fu wrote would become history forever. The re-connections today indicate a memorable milestone in the right direction. I look forward to the leaders of both sides of the Taiwan Straits for more co-operation and understanding in the interest of people across the rough seas.

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