Sun, Dec 25, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Soong, Wang hold informal meeting

MORE TALKS The two pan-blue bigwigs concluded that reaching consensus on how to break the cross-strait deadlock was the key to resolving many other issues

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

From left to right, People First Party Chairman James Soong, PFP Legislator Chang Hsien-yao and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, gesture to the media after Soong and Wang held a ``casual meeting'' at the Taipei Youth Activity Center. Soong and Wang said that stable cross-strait relations are the key to solving the issues of the arms procurement package and a possible Cabinet reshuffle.


People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and Legisla-tive Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) had a "casual meeting" yesterday, during which the two said that improving cross-strait relations is the key to resolving the planned Cabinet reshuffle and the long-stalled arms procurement bill.

Casually dressed and calling each other "good old friend," the meeting of the two pan-blue heavyweights yesterday seemed more harmonious than Soong's meeting with KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) two days ago. Both meetings addressed the issues of a Cabinet reshuffle, cross-strait relations, the arms procurement bill and the nomination of Control Yuan members.

Yesterday's meeting came in response to the president's request for Wang to exchange ideas with opposition parties on how to solve the arms procurement bill and Cabinet issues.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) met with Wang a week ago to discuss those issues, and asked Wang to serve as his mediator in seeking support from pan-blue camp leaders to break through the current political deadlock.

"It requires understanding and even support from the opposition parties to solve those issues. I already talked to Chairman Ma, and it is also necessary to seek PFP Chairman Soong's support," Wang said.

During the 80-minute meeting yesterday, Wang and Soong reconfirmed the consensus reached in the Ma-Soong meeting, which concluded that a clear policy was the priority concerning the Cabinet, that the pan-blue camp would only agree on a "reasonable" arms procurement bill, and that stable cross-strait relations are the key to all of those issues.

"Problematic cross-strait relations is the biggest issue in Taiwan's politics. We both agreed that only by breaking the cross-strait deadlock can Taiwan stabilize its domestic politics and revitalize its economy," Wang said yesterday after the meeting.

Soong echoed Wang's remarks, and also stressed the importance of reaching consensus in order to solve the Cabinet issue.

"If the government can draft a clear policy and reach a consensus with opposition parties, then it would be easy for the two sides to solve domestic issues and cross-strait problems," he said. "If we can do so, who forms the Cabinet will not be an issue."

Soong lauded Wang for playing a key role in the legislature, and said he believed the speaker can reconcile "unnecessary confrontations" between the governing and opposition parties on major issues.

Besides meeting with the KMT and PFP chairmen, Wang said he will also talk to the head of the Taiwan Solidarity Union and Non-partisan Solidarity Union to seek consensus.

Meanwhile, commenting on the Wang-Soong meeting, Ma said that frequent communication within the pan-blue camp should be encouraged.

"It's good. I think pan-blue leaders should meet more often to communicate with each other," he said yesterday after attending a municipal event.

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