Premier Wen Jiabao has called for the mainland and Taiwan to ditch their hostility and work together, in yet another goodwill gesture amid warming cross-strait ties. 'In the face of a tough international economic situation, compatriots of the two sides should turn to the future and forget the past in order to join hands and move forward with closer co-operation,' Mr Wen told Xinhua yesterday. He made the comment during a meeting with Fredrick Chien Fu, Taiwan's envoy to the Boao forum, in Hainan province. They met on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia. Mr Wen said the two sides had to reach out and work with each other for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations - a co-operation that would not only benefit both sides but was what the world also wanted. Mr Wen said the two sides had already taken steps towards closer economic co-operation to jointly tackle the global financial crisis and should step up efforts to further promote their co-operation in five areas. 'First, the two sides should push for investments in Taiwan by mainland firms; second, there should be the expansion of [mainland] purchases of Taiwanese products,' he said. Other areas included encouraging more Taiwanese firms to explore the mainland market, increasing the number of mainland visitors to Taiwan and discussing ways to establish an economic framework needed for cross-strait development, he told Dr Chien. Mr Wen did not forget to promote cross-strait reunification - which the mainland has long sought but which has been rejected by pro-independence supporters in Taiwan. 'We hope our two sides continue peaceful development and economic prosperity because we want to pursue the grand unification across the Taiwan Strait.' In response, Dr Chien avoided politically sensitive issues, saying he fully supported the idea of peaceful development. He is a former Taiwan foreign minister and former president of the government watchdog, the Control Yuan.