Beijing: Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday invoked 'Father of the Nation' Sun Yat-sen to seek "peaceful" reunification with arch rival Taiwan, saying time has come to heal "wounds of the past" to achieve China's rejuvenation.

Hu, also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party, called for the peaceful reunification of China, which he said best serves the fundamental interests of all Chinese, including Taiwan compatriots.

Speaking at an impressive ceremony at the cavernous Great Hall of the People to commemorate the 100th anniversary of China's 1911 Revolution that ended the nation's long imperial history, Hu also rejected Taiwan's bid for independence.

At the meeting, attended by top Communist Party leaders, including former President Jiang Zemin, who made his first public appearance since reports emerged that he had died, Hu also rejected Taiwan's bid to seek independence.

China views Taiwan as a rebel island province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.

Hu said efforts are needed to strengthen the political common ground of opposing "Taiwan independence" and upholding the 1992 Consensus.

"We should...end cross-Straits antagonisms, heal wounds of the past and work together to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," he added.

China is Taiwan's largest trading partner and its largest investment destination.

Rejuvenating China, which was the cherished goal of Sun Yat-sen and other pioneers of the Revolution of 1911, should be the common aspiration of all compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Hu said.

The 1911 Revolution, led by Sun, who is the founder of the Kuomintang, began on October 10, 1911, with an armed uprising, ended 2,000 years of imperial rule by toppling the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It resulted in a republican government, the first in Asia, a news agency reported.

In his speech, Hu quoted Sun as saying  "Unification is the hope of all Chinese people. If unification is achieved, the people will enjoy a happy life; if it is not, the people will suffer."

The 1911 Revolution was "a thoroughly modern, national and democratic revolution" which had shook the world and ushered in unprecedented social changes in China, Hu said.

Hu also eulogised Sun, the leader of the revolution, as "a great national hero, a great patriot and a great leader of the Chinese democratic revolution".

(Agencies)