Wed, Jan 05, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan `welcomes' visit by Wang, if he wants to come

STAFF WRITER , WITH AP AND CNA

Taiwan said yesterday it would welcome the attendance of a top Chinese official at the funeral services for Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫).

Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday that former Shanghai mayor Wang Daohan (汪道涵) would be welcome to attend Koo's funeral.

"If he can come to Taiwan to see his old friend that he hasn't been able to see for a long time, our invitation still stands," Wu said.

Wang is 89 and in fragile health, and it wasn't immediately known whether he would be willing or able to travel to Taiwan.

Talking to Taiwanese reporters in Shanghai on Monday, Wang avoided a direct reply about the topic.

"We must see how cross-strait relations develop," Wang said.

Taiwan has repeatedly invited Wang to visit, but the trips never materialized.

Yesterday, senior leaders including Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) paid their respects to Koo in Taipei.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said that Koo Chen-fu's funeral will be held on the morning of Feb. 2 at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. In addition, both the Grand Hotel and the Landis Taipei have both offered to give special discounts to overseas friends of the former chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation arriving in Taiwan for the funeral.

The US Department of State on Monday expressed its condolences on Koo's death.

In response to questions from reporters at a daily briefing, a State Department spokesperson said: "We extend our sympathies to Koo's family and the people of Taiwan."

The department said that Koo was a strong advocate for cross-Taiwan Strait dialogue and reconciliation.

This story has been viewed 4147 times.
TOP top