Jiang Zemin used the occasion to introduce his son to senior figures in multinational companies before he stepped down as president.
While Jiang once boasted about “getting rich quietly,” Lien is more discreet. Although his delegation included a number of big business bosses, making people wonder whether there was not some kind of collusion going on between politicians and businesspeople, Lien did not mention anything of the sort.
However, what was talked about in private may be a different matter. For example, a report in a pro-unification media outlet before Xi and Lien had their meeting quoted a source in Beijing as saying that Xi would tell Lien that China would like to see the two sides of the Taiwan Strait cooperate on exploiting resources and prospecting for oil in the South China Sea.
No such thing was mentioned in public reports of their meeting. The issue may well have been discussed during closed-door dealings.
China cannot beat Japan, but it can make up for it by getting Taiwan involved, and, having used Taiwan to put pressure on Japan, it could then turn around and catch Taiwan off guard. That would have serious implications for the nation’s national security.
Lien also has some explaining to do now that he is back.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Julian Clegg