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Taiwan Opposition Leader Says No to Independence for Island

A Taiwanese opposition leader visiting mainland China says formal independence for the island is a dead end.

James Soong, head of Taiwan's People First Party, also told his audience at Beijing's Tsinghua University Wednesday that Taiwan and China should increase their economic cooperation.

Mr. Soong's trip follows a historic visit to China earlier this month by Nationalist Party leader Lien Chan. Both men support Taiwan's reunification with China.

China's welcome of the two opposition leaders has put pressure on Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, who has advocated formal independence for the island.

China has threatened to invade Taiwan if it makes any moves towards independence. But Mr. Soong says peace is the only option in cross-Strait relations.

Mr. Soong will hold meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.