DPP to monitor Lien’s China visit

By Mo Yan-chih, Lee Hsin-fang, and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 - Page 1

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) is embarking on a four-day trip to China on Sunday where he is scheduled to meet with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary and Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平), the KMT said yesterday.

Lien will lead a 40-member delegation to Beijing following an invitation from the Chinese government. He is scheduled to meet with Xi on Monday and with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) on Tuesday, said Kao Hui (高輝), director of the KMT’s Mainland Affairs Committee.

While Lien has met with Xi on several occasions in the past, the meeting on Tuesday would mark their first meeting since Xi assumed the post of CCP general secretary, which carries significance in cross-strait developments, he said.

Lien has emerged as a major figure in the KMT in promoting cross-strait relations since his trip to China in 2005, as his meeting then with Hu marked the first time the heads of the KMT and the CCP had met in six decades.

The KMT said that Lien has discussed his trip with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and expressed a willingness to make more contributions to improving cross-strait relations on behalf of the Ma administration.

Executive director of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Policy Research Committee Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that the meeting between Lien and Xi might touch on topics such as a cross-strait peace accord or the political structure required pre-unification.

As Lien and Ma are not close, China may seek to exploit differences between the two men and apply pressure on Lien, Wu said. 

Beijing would never budge on its “one China” principle or on cross-trait peace accords, pre-unification political structure adjustments or mutual military trust, Wu said, adding that this political stance runs contrary to the majority of Taiwan’s democratic inclinations.

The DPP would be closely monitoring Lien’s visit and if the visit should result in any developments that would be detrimental to Taiwan’s development or go against the wishes of Taiwanese, then the DPP would act accordingly, Wu said.