Tue, Apr 26, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Lien says `no limits' for talks with China

MEETINGS KMT Chairman Lien Chan said that he was not going to China to bargain with Beijing, and that he was traveling as a representative of his party

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan, center, accompanied by the KMT's vice chairs, from left to right, Chiang Ping-kun, Wu Poh-hsiung and Helen Lin, as well as KMT Secretary-General Lin Feng-cheng, yesterday vow to promote peace across the Taiwan Strait.

PHOTO: CHIEN JUNG-FENG, TAIPEI TIMES

Speaking on the eve of his landmark trip to China, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday that he is not going to bargain and emphasized that there are no limits to the topics he may cover during his anticipated meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), who is also Chinese Communist Party (CCP) head .

Lien emphasized that his trip to China from today until May 3 is being made on an individual basis and as a representative of the KMT.

He sidestepped questions about if and how he plans to report his trip's results to the government, what topics he plans to discuss during his meeting with Hu on Friday, and whether it has been established that his meeting with Hu will take place under the "one China" principle.

He said he believed that he and the relevant Chinese authorities can work together for both countries' mutual benefit.

"I am making this trip as an individual and am representing the KMT, not the government. I hope that I can use this opportunity to exchange views. We have not set any boundaries or established any premise [for interactions in China]. I am not going to bargain. I do not have the authority to represent any position," Lien said at a press conference held by the KMT yesterday morning.

Understanding

The main point of his trip, Lien said, is to expand his understanding of the progress and development that has taken place in China in the past decades while discussing issues related to the interests of both China and Taiwan.

When specifically asked by reporters if such issues include China's recently-passed "Anti-Secession" Law, Lien said that there were no limits on the topics that he might discuss with Hu and that he does not exclude the possibility that he would talk about the law.

The meeting between Lien and Hu will be the first the leaders of the CCP and the KMT in 56 years.

Lien also expressed his personal feelings on the eve of the landmark trip to China.

"I anticipate and am happy about this trip. I also feel a certain amount of sadness. The last time I left the mainland was 59 years ago, it is also a historical grief," Lien said, adding that he is grateful to have this opportunity to be able to visit China with his comrades and friends in the KMT.

Paal meeting

When questioned about his meeting last week with the director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Douglas Paal, Lien said that in addition to the US, many individuals and governments from countries in Asia and Europe have privately expressed their support for his trip to the party.

Lien was invited to China by Jia Qinglin (賈慶林), chairman of China's People's Political Consultative Conference.

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