Sat, Apr 30, 2005 - Page 3 News List

KMT, communists should work together, Lien tells Peking University students

STARTING POINT In a speech at Peking University, the KMT Chairman Lien said the two parties had the same agenda but that the 'status quo' should be maintained

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Speaking to Peking University students yesterday on the fourth day of his China tour, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said cooperation between Taiwan and China is the only way to create a win-win situation for both countries, while emphasizing the importance of the status quo in maintaining peace.

"With good intentions as our starting point, with trust and the prosperity of the people on both sides [of the Taiwan Strait] as our foundation, how can we not think of the long-term good of the people?" Lien said. "Keeping the people as our main consideration and prosperity as our priority, I believe this is a direction that all of our people, which includes all of Taiwan's 23 million people and the mainland's 1.3 billion people, will support."

Speaking to an audience of 600 Peking University students and staff yesterday morning, Lien began his speech praising the contributions the university and Chinese intellectuals had made to political reform in China.

As part of his theme on future Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and KMT cooperation, Lien praised the contributions of both the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to the economic development of Taiwan and China by referring to former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) and former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).

While there had been historical differences between the CCP and the KMT, Lien said, it was important to consider the future welfare of "all the Chinese people" on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

"There is still room for development in China for political reform in regard to taking forward steps and scope [of change]. But I must say that over time the roads and directions followed by [China and Taiwan] have resulted in the differences between us becoming smaller and smaller," he said.

"The relationship between both sides of the Strait is not just one of mutual dependence but also one of mutual benefit. It is a situation in which one plus one equals two," Lien said.

During the 40-minute speech, Lien avoided discussing differences between the CCP and the KMT on national territory and the parties' historical enmity, choosing instead to emphasize the importance of the status quo and his belief in "mutual support" to improve the lives of the "Chinese people."

"In accordance with the reality of the cross-strait situation, we must support the status quo. Protection of the status quo on the one hand avoids conflict. But on the other hand, through this we can co-exist despite our differences, consolidate our good intentions and build up momentum to create a brand new, beautiful future," Lien said.

The speech was well received, with the audience interrupting his speech occasionally with enthusiastic applause.

Crowds of students unable to listen to the speech in person gathered outside the hall where Lien was speaking to listen to the broadcast.

After the speech, Lien was presented with a copy of the academic records of his mother, Chao Lan-kun (趙蘭坤), from her time as a student at Peking University. Lien was apparently moved and surprised by the gesture, calling his wife Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀) over to also look at them.

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