Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday that he had warned the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of the negative consequences of visiting Beijing at this point in time prior to its trip to China but to no avail.
Wu told reporters yesterday that he had met with KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (
He said that while he had not clearly said that the law prohibited engaging in cross-strait negotiations or agreements of any sort without government consent, he had warned Chiang that visiting Beijing in the wake of the "Anti-Secession" Law and March 26 mass rally in Taipei would aggravate cross-strait conflict.
Wu said that Chiang's response made clear that the KMT official had not chosen the timing of the trip of his own accord but had been required to do so due to various "party concerns."
He did not say whether Chiang was referring specifically to KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰).
"It was possible, perhaps, that the situation could have settled down by June or July or August, and we would have begun pushing some positive policies. But with these new difficulties, we might have to push the date back," Wu said.
He said that he couldn't stand in the way of non-governmental exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, but Lien's rhetoric had already made clear the nature of his forthcoming trip.
"Lien has already said he's going to negotiate with China, and he has called it a `journey of peace,'" Wu said.
At the forefront of the recent "China fever" that has swept the opposition parties is Lien's decision to visit Beijing at its invitation.
People's First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), whom Beijing has also invited, has yet to decide if he will go.
Soong has, however, said that he will take a cautious attitude in dealing with another invitation to visit China, this one to attend a conference on sustainable development, according to a PFP statement yesterday.
Meanwhile, the director of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) Chinese affairs department, Tung Li-wen (
Tung reasoned that Lien would not label his trip a "journey of peace" if he didn't have some guarantee from Beijing that he could deliver on his promise of peace.
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