Chinese President Hu Jintao's landmark meeting with James Soong, chairman of Taiwan's second biggest opposition party, yielded a joint statement that expressed opposition to Taiwan independence and commited the two sides to resuming direct flights and shipping across the Taiwan Strait by 2006, and to expanding cross-strait economic exchanges, including the possibility of a free trade zone, according to media reports. Beijing also proposed a "two sides, one China" approach, a pitch that did not impress Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian who said since Soong did not represent Taipei and that the statement had "no meaning".
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