Lien Chan stresses peace but does not mention reunification Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan, embarking on the most important part of his 'journey of peace', arrived in Beijing yesterday to a reception fit for a head of state. Landing at a special section of Beijing Capital International Airport before noon, on a chartered China Eastern flight from Nanjing , Mr Lien emphasised his desire to work towards a 'win-win' future of peace, without bringing up reunification. Mr Lien came to the mainland at the invitation of Communist Party general secretary Hu Jintao , acting in his party role rather than as head of state. The meeting with Mr Hu today will be the first between heads of the two parties in six decades. Under overcast skies with a gusty wind threatening a sandstorm, a waving and smiling Mr Lien, accompanied by his wife, Fang Yu, shook hands with mainland officials lined up along a red carpet leading to a podium. His 150-member delegation also exchanged greetings with them. In welcoming remarks, Chen Yunlin , director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, said today's meeting would be one that 'faces the present and forges the future' between the two parties. Mr Lien gave a short speech in which he emphasised that building a 'win-win' future of peace, through understanding and dialogue, was the shared wish of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Calling it an 'inexorable trend', Mr Lien said his delegation would emphasise the present while looking to shape the future. He underscored the significance of Beijing as the centre of Chinese politics and culture. 'It is a world-renowned city with a history of a millennium. Here we see how tradition lives side by side with modernity, how Chinese culture intersects with world culture.' Apparently alluding to the hostile reaction to his visit by KMT opponents in Taiwan, the opposition party leader said his mainland visit was difficult for himself, his family, friends and colleagues. But it was also a valuable opportunity not to be squandered. 'We are all ears and all eyes to understand and to talk,' he said. Mr Lien conducted himself with the cool composure that comes from years of being in the political limelight as the island's premier, vice-president and two-time presidential candidate. Under tight security, more than 100 reporters were bused to a special area of the airport, with the choice central spot reserved for Taiwanese journalists travelling with the delegation. A busload of Beijing primary schoolchildren, bouquets in hand, chanted, 'Welcome, welcome, warmly welcome'. Hujialou Primary School principal Ma Jun said she had just spent eight days in Taiwan on an exchange programme. 'We hope children from Taiwan can come to visit us.'