Beijing might talk with DPP, says Chinese official


Fri, Apr 29, 2005 - Page 1

According to a Hong Kong media report on Wednesday, Sun Yafu (孫亞夫), the deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council, said China recognizes that discussions with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) are of a party-to-party nature, and that discussions with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) may be possible.

During a talk on Wednesday at Peking University, Sun said that any consensus reached with Lien, or any document signed, would take into consideration legal ramifications in Taiwan.

A report in the pro-China Hong Kong daily Wen Wei Po quoted Sun as saying that China had taken note of Taiwan's response -- the threat of legal proceedings -- to KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun's (江丙坤) visit, and since then had moved to better understand the legal situation in Taiwan.

He added that any agreement with Lien would be expressed in the "most suitable form" and that China "still hoped to have more contact with the Democratic Progressive Party."

Sun said that if an agreement was reached with Lien, possible legal consequences would be taken into consideration in deciding the form the agreement might take. He said that as the KMT is an opposition party, any consensus or agreement would be solely between the two political parties.

In regard to People First Party Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) visit to China next Thursday, Sun said that while Soong and Lien both adhered to the "1992 consensus" and opposed Taiwanese independence, Soong's visit was also backed up by the 10-point agreement reached by Soong and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Finding common ground between this agreement and China's demands would be an important part of Soong's visit. Nevertheless, Sun underlined the fact that "Soong cannot represent Chen."

Sun went on to say that Taiwan Affairs Office director Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) had repeatedly referred to the DPP in recent interviews, an indication of China's willingness to have more contact with the party.

He said China welcomed the many DPP members who had already visited China in a private capacity, as academics or representatives of academic groups.

He said that most DPP members were quite different from supporters of Taiwanese independence.

On whether negotiations between Lien and Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) would constitute an end to the state of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Sun said that this needed to be studied further, adding that: "If one day both sides can come to an agreement to end hostilities, then the cross-strait relationship would enter a new phase."