Sun, Jun 05, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Meeting between Chinese president and Chen is impossible, KMT officials say

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) desire to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) is impossible, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday, while fellow opposition party the People First Party (PFP) welcomed the news.

"[The meeting] is a delusional hope. There is no chance of its realization," said KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) yesterday.

Chen said Friday that he would be willing to sit down and talk with Hu in a third country, given that such meeting had no preconditions. On Friday, Chen also identified the US as a possible location for a meeting.

While opportunities in cross-strait relations can always be created, said Chang yesterday, Chen has already said "at least twenty times" that he hopes to meet with Hu, which has still not come to fruition.

The purpose of Chen's comments yesterday were less to actually facilitate a meeting with Hu and more to narrow the distance between him and Washington, Chang said.

However, the US is very clear on China's policies and bottom line. The US will not push for a Chen-Hu meet on its soil because China will reject such a meeting, Chang said.

Also, Taipei Mayor and KMT Vice Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said that he did not think a Chen-Hu summit was possible.

"[A Chen-Hu] meet won't be easy, given the current atmosphere. The administration has always been against the `1992 consensus.' I'm afraid it will be difficult to have a breakthrough in cross-strait relations," Ma said yesterday.

Both the KMT and the People First Party (PFP) have said that future talks with China should take place under the so-called "1992 consensus." The term refers to an agreement between Chinese and Taiwanese negotiators on the "one China" principle, but what is meant by "one China" is open to interpretation.

In contrast, the PFP yesterday was more optimistic about the chances of a Chen-Hu meeting.

"Our bridge-building' trip to China was meant to facilitate a meeting between Chen and Hu," PFP Spokesman Hsieh Kung-pin (謝公秉) told the Taipei Times yesterday, without explaining how the party had facilitated a potential meet.

"As the opposition, we, and all the Taiwanese people, hope that Chen can meet with Hu," Hsieh said.

When asked about Chen's comments that any meeting with Hu would have to take place without any preconditions, given the president's opposition to the so-called "1992 consensus," Hsieh said that the matter was up to Chen.

"Chen is the leader of the nation. It is for him to decide [the circumstances of a meeting with Hu]," Hsieh said.

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