Tue, Jul 13, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Former KMT head meets Hu in Beijing

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) vowed that cross-strait ties would continue to expand in a high-level meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) yesterday.

The talks between the two sides, which took place in Beijing, were the first since a landmark trade deal between Taiwan and China was signed late last month.

It was the most high-profile meeting in a series of talks between KMT and Chinese representatives. Wu’s visit to Beijing comes after he led a delegation to attend the sixth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum in Guangzhou.

The meeting was reportedly held at the personal invitation of Hu.

During the talks, the two focused on issues surrounding the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed last month.

Wu said the meeting showed the improvements in the relationship between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), adding that he hoped the talks would continue — remarks that Hu immediately said he welcomed.

“The forums must continue to be held and become better and better,” Wu said. “Today’s meeting shows how both our parties understand the importance of high-level talks to better mutual confidence.”

In response, Hu said that he believed the deepening cross-strait relationship, exemplified by the ECFA, would be in the “long-term benefits of the entire Chinese race.”

He also said that the ECFA would increase industrial cooperation, boost Taiwan and China’s economic competitiveness and was in the “interests of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.”

Hu added that the agreement was in the fundamental interests of the “Chinese nation,” expressing hope that the agreement, currently held up in Taiwan’s legislature, would take effect as soon as possible.

Wu said he was confident the legislative review of the ECFA, which has been boycotted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), would be completed by next month.

“We have enough confidence that [the ECFA] will stand up to the most rigorous examination,” he said. “We believe that [the agreement] is in the right direction and will win the people’s hearts.”

During the talks, Wu also passed Hu a message from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

“Looking into realities, tolerating [political] differences, accumulating mutual trust and further creating win-win,” the message read.

On Taiwan’s international space following the signing of the ECFA, Wu said some things were better discussed in meetings.

The meeting was criticized by Taiwan’s opposition parties yesterday.

DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said that it served the interests of the KMT and China rather than the Taiwanese public.

“The KMT and the CCP are attempting to use these secret negotiations to decide Taiwan’s future,” Lin said. “The talks are outside the framework of our government and escapes public accountability.”

He said that if the talks continued to talk place, Ma “might as well get rid of the entire government.”

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) also criticized the meeting, with Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) saying that it was damaging Taiwan’s democracy.

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