Taiwanese delegation arrives, hoping to capitalise on earlier political expeditions and help usher in new era The chairman of Taiwan's pro-unification New Party yesterday led a 30-strong delegation to the mainland for an eight-day visit to seek closer co-operation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. 'The purpose of the trip is to seek better understanding between the two sides through meetings with mainland leaders,' party leader Yok Mu-ming said before departing for Guangzhou, the first city of the four-stop visit that will also take his group to Nanjing, Dalian and Beijing. Mr Yok has designated the trip as a 'journey of the [Chinese] nation', during which he hopes to pave the way to make this century 'the Chinese century'. He was not given a send-off at Taipei's airport by pro-independence activists, who disrupted the start of opposition Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan's historic visit to the mainland in April. Mr Yok and his delegation were received by Guangdong Party Secretary Zhang Dejiang , who appealed for more investment in the province. 'We hope more Taiwanese companies will set up their regional headquarters and research and development centres in Guangdong,' he said. At the end of March, there were more than 18,000 Taiwan-invested enterprises in the province, with total investment amounting to more than US$26 billion. Guangdong's trade with Taiwan last year totalled US$30 billion, 38 per cent of the mainland's total. When asked about the two high-profile visits by the KMT and People First Party (PFP), Mr Yok said the New Party hoped to play its own role. 'We are pursuing the fruits of Lien Chan's and [PFP chairman] James Soong Chu-yu's visits, hoping to tell all Chinese ... that only by reunifying can we enter an era in which they can be proud and elated in the 21st century. 'We are the smallest of the three parties. We hope ... we can play a complementary role in cross-strait relations.' The New Party delegation will meet Guangzhou Mayor Zhang Guangning today and pay respects at the Huanghuagang cemetery for Chinese martyrs who overthrew the Qing Dynasty. They will leave for Nanjing today. Mr Yok is expected to meet President Hu Jintao before returning to Taiwan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Vice-Premier Wu Yi met KMT vice-chairman Chiang Pin-kung in Beijing yesterday, saying Beijing was willing to talk to Taiwanese parties supporting the one-China principle.