The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) extended its welcome yesterday to two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members who accepted an invitation to participate in this weekend’s KMT-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forum.
Former DPP legislator Hsu Jung-shu (?Q) and former Council of Agriculture minister Fan Chen-tsung (范振宗) will join KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and the KMT delegation at the fifth KMT-CCP forum on Saturday and Sunday in Changsha, Hunan Province.
KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) said Hsu and Fan were invited to the forum by the CCP, adding that more and more DPP members think that cross-strait exchanges are important.
“I think it is natural for DPP members to attend the forum ... Except for a few extremists, most DPP members agree that the two sides should stop provoking each other,” Wu Den-yi said.
Both Hsu and Fan are familiar with the situation in China and were not opposed to the development of peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait, he said.
KMT spokesman Lee Chien-jung (李建榮) said that certain important figures in the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) would also visit China in the near future, but dismissed media speculation that the group included former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), the TSU’s spiritual leader.
This KMT-CCP forum will be the last Wu Poh-hsiung attends as KMT chairman. He will step down in September as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is scheduled to take over the chairmanship.
Ma has declined to confirm whether or not he will visit China and meet Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in his capacity as KMT chairman.
In response to the news, DPP acting spokesman Chuang Suo-hang (莊碩漢) told a press conference that DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was going to float a proposal to ban DPP officials from participating in the forum at the party’s Central Executive Committee meeting today. The proposal was likely be approved at the meeting, he said.
Chuang said Fan was no longer a DPP member, and that he had taken a pro-KMT position during the presidential elections in 2004 and last year. Therefore his participation in the forum was not a matter that concerned the DPP.
However, Hsu is a senior DPP member who Chuang said should not attend the forum and the party called on her not to take part.
The party might discipline Hsu if she goes to the forum, Chuang said.
The KMT-CCP forum uses party names to discuss cross-strait affairs and violates the democratic process, so the DPP was against such a forum, Chuang said.
Additional reporting by Rich Chang