KMT lawmakers ‘concerned’ over Hung-Xi meeting

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 15, 2016 - Page 1

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday voiced concerns over KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) announcement of a possible meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), urging Hung to insist on the “one China, different interpretations” principle during the meeting.

KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) said it would be good if Hung could make breakthroughs when cross-strait relations have come to a halt, but the caucus had not been informed about the proposed meeting until it was revealed by the media.

“We lawmakers as the firstline of the party believe that it is necessary to have more communication with the chairwoman” before her China trip, Sufin said.

He said he shares some of the KMT Central Standing Committee members’ concerns about Hung’s “one China, same interpretation” position, which has not been clarified, and that if it is brought up in China it could provide fodder for the party’s opponents to “vilify the KMT.”

“Many [KMT] lawmakers have expressed similar concerns,” he added. “That is why we need to arrange a meeting with Hung as soon as possible, for clarification and to make sure that we have a common goal.”

The convener said Hung’s office had arranged a meeting with lawmakers to be held on Nov. 12, but he talked to KMT Secretary-General Mo Tien-hu (莫天虎) on Thursday and demanded a meeting before Hung’s trip to China on Oct. 30. Hung has agreed to the change, Mo said.

Sufin said the caucus believes that Hung, during her meeting with Xi, should “loudly emphasize ‘one China, different interpretations.’”

Underlining that the lawmakers represent millions of people, the convener told reporters on Thursday that KMT lawmakers fear that Hung might “deviate from public opinion.”

KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday said that it is not surprising that a meeting between Hung and Xi would be arranged when a KMT-Chinese Communist Party forum is to be held.

“What is to be talked about [during that meeting] needs further discussion” within the party, Wang said. “‘One China, same interpretation’ has not obtained a consensus within the party; a consensus is also needed in Taiwan as a whole.”

The former legislative speaker said Hung would also need China to concur for a consensus to be reached, adding that “there is still a long way to go.”

KMT Policy Committee executive director Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said the original plan was that Hung would explain to the caucus what her discussion with Xi had achieved after the meeting, as there is no convention within the KMT that the chairperson reports to lawmakers.

However, Hung would meet with KMT lawmakers in two groups to exchange views, Tsai said.

KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the meeting should focus on economic and trade-related issues and as long as the KMT stands firm on safeguarding Taiwan’s interests and stance, there is no need to be afraid of being “vilified.”

Hau is not planning to attend the forum and believes that, since it is the first forum since the KMT became the opposition, communication with the caucus is necessary before Hung’s trip.

Additional Reporting by CNA