Cross-strait relations are not international relations, former vice president and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday, adding that over the past year, the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have both made it clear that the development of cross-strait relations should progress under the “one China” framework (一中架構).
Lien made the remarks while meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
The four-day visit by Lien, who arrived on Monday, follows the first government-to-government talks between Taiwan and China in more than six decades.
Xi said last week’s high-profile meeting between the top cross-strait policymakers from Taiwan and China was an “actively significant” development.
Xi said the Feb. 11 meeting between Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) resulted in agreements on several issues and obtained positive results.
In an apparent nod to the political sensitivities of China-Taiwan encounters, a Xinhua news agency report described Xi by his party title of “general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee,” rather than as the country’s president.
Similarly, Lien was described as “KMT Honorary Chairman” and not as a former vice president of Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Wang was quoted by a KMT lawmaker in Taipei yesterday as saying the time is “not ripe” for an unprecedented cross-strait leaders’ summit at either of the regional forums to be held in China in October this year and in April next year.
Citing Beijing’s position on the issue, Wang ruled out any meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Xi at the Boao Forum on China’s Hainan Island next year, which had been suggested by some Chinese academics and Taiwanese media commentators.
The APEC forum in Beijing in October had also been suggested by Taiwan officials as an appropriate setting for a Ma-Xi meeting.
However, Zhang on Monday said in Beijing that it was better not to talk in international settings about matters related to the two sides.
Meanwhile, People First Party Legislator Thomas Lee (李桐豪) said that during Wang’s briefing of lawmakers yesterday about his first official trip to China last week, Wang sidestepped a question about the goals of the proposed meeting.
On the issue of each side allowing long-term postings of reporters on the other side, Wang said no consensus had been reached.
Taiwan is attaching the condition that China stop blocking Taiwan-based Web sites, but the Chinese side has reservations about that, Wang told Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and other lawmakers during the briefing.
The plan is to first make it easier for reporters to live in the city to which they are posted — usually for six-month periods, Wang was quoted as saying.
Additional reporting by AFP