Outgoing Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) will lead a delegation to the fifth KMT-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forum this weekend in Changsha, Hunan Province, a KMT official said yesterday.
This will be the final cross-strait event Wu will attend before stepping down in September and concludes his duties in overseeing high-level party-to-party exchanges, the KMT official said.
Meanwhile, for the first time KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) will not attend the forum since the party-to-party platform was created in 2005.
A Lien aide said the honorary chairman is no longer in charge of organizing or attending the forum, as he passed the baton to the head of the KMT last year.
People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) will also not attend, but the party will send other representatives in his place, the KMT official said.
The official said the upcoming forum would focus on the theme of deepening cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.
The agenda includes preservation and innovation of Chinese culture, collaboration in cultural industries, and expansion of educational exchanges. In addition, there will be a conference on economic exchanges, the official said.
The annual forum, a regular communication platform for the once bitter rival parties, was set up by then-KMT chairman Lien, and CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in 2005, when Lien led an “ice-breaking” visit to Beijing.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on June 29 registered as the sole candidate for the KMT’s chairmanship.
When asked by media on Thursday whether he would meet Hu in his capacity as KMT chairman, Ma said he had no immediate plans to meet Hu, adding that it would be better for leaders across the Taiwan Strait to meet after the two sides have found solutions to certain fundamental issues.