Zhang Zhijun, the Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs chief, has extended New Year greetings to people in Taiwan and called on both sides to continue working toward peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.
In a New Year message carried by the first issue of "Cross-Strait Relations" magazine, Zhang said 2015 witnessed steady progress in ties between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, and people from both sides have benefited from the important progress.
Zhang, head of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, also warned of a complex situation across the Taiwan Strait in 2016, and expressed the hope that peaceful development of cross-Strait relations will not be reverted.
In the message, Zhang noted that cross-Strait ties made historic breakthroughs in 2015, citing the milestone meeting between Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou, the first between leaders of the two sides since 1949, in Singapore in November.
The meeting marked a key step in high-level exchanges between the two sides, and opened up new prospects for cross-Strait ties, the official said.
Both sides managed to establish and enhance high-level communication, deepen political mutual trust and promote peaceful development of ties on the basis of the one China principle, which shows that Chinese people on both sides have the ability and wisdom to address their own challenges, he said.
Zhang went on to call 2015 "a year of unity and cooperation," as well as one of institutionalized cross-Strait exchanges.
However, 2016 will be marked by "complex changes across the Taiwan Strait and new challenges in cross-Strait ties," Zhang said.
He urged the two sides to stick to the 1992 Consensus, the core of which is the acknowledgment that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China.
Zhang warned against so-called "pro-independence" separatist attempts to split Taiwan from China and to sabotage peace and stability, adding that the Chinese mainland is "unswerving and firm as a rock" in safeguarding the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Let's not regret the value of peace and development after we've lost it," he said, adding that the Chinese mainland will, as always, seek to benefit Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in the new year.