Tue, Apr 26, 2005 - Page 2 News List

PFP chief James Soong set to leave for China on May 5

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) will begin his landmark journey to China on May 5, the party said yesterday, adding that the agenda for his trip is still being hammered out.

In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, the PFP said the preliminary results of party secretary-general Chin Chin-sheng's (秦金生) working trip to China have Soong leaving for Xian, China on May 5 and returning from Beijing to Taiwan on May 12. All other details are still being settled by Chin in China, the statement read.

Chin left for Beijing on Sunday with other PFP personnel to discuss the details of Soong's upcoming trip with Chinese authorities. According to the party, Chin was received by Jia Qinglin (賈慶林), the chairman of China's People's Political Consultative Conference, on Sunday night. The two spoke until 4am the next morning about the details of the trip, the party said.

Jia last month invited Soong and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to visit Beijing in their capacity as party chairmen. While Lien is leaving on his trip to China today, the PFP waited until last week to formally accept and begin planning their trip.

During the meeting on Sunday, Jia expressed his respect for the PFP's long-term efforts to facilitate cross-strait relations and cross-strait peace, the statement said.

"This is the first time officials from the PFP and the CCP have come in contact. Both sides understand that there are numerous difficulties involved in improving cross-strait relations, but both also expect to gradually break through those difficulties," the statement read.

Given the similar natures and origin of their trips, Lien and Soong's trips have been widely compared by the media.

Lien said at a press conference yesterday morning that while he does not know the specifics of the PFP trip, the KMT welcomes any efforts to facilitate cross-strait peace and dialogue.

Chin is set to return from China tomorrow.

This story has been viewed 4324 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top