The likelihood of a meeting between the presidents of China and Taiwan in the next year or two is very low, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Deputy Secretary-General Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) said yesterday.
In an interview with the Central News Agency (CNA), Chang reiterated his statement in the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao yesterday that there was little possibility of such a meeting within the next two years.
Chang said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has said that there was no urgent need for him to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and that there was still much to be done in laying the groundwork for better cross-strait relations.
Since Ma announced his bid for the chairmanship of the KMT on June 10, there has been much speculation about a possible meeting between him and Hu, who is general-secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in their roles as party leaders.
Ma is the sole contender for the KMT chairmanship.
In the Ming Pao interview, Chang said that if Ma were elected KMT chairman, the annual KMT-CCP forum would have to be arranged differently.
Ma might have to appoint a high-ranking party member to represent him at the forum, Chang said, but he declined to speculate on who might be chosen.
However, Chang, who also serves as director of the KMT’s Mainland Affairs Department, said that the growing cultural and educational cross-strait exchanges, along with the strengthening economic and trade cooperation, boded well for a meeting between Ma and Hu.
Besides, if it appears that the Taiwanese expect such a meeting, “Ma will take that into consideration,” Chang said.
Ma’s announcement that he would run for KMT chairman ended weeks of speculation about a power struggle between him and KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄).
“I have decided to run in the party chairman’s election not to expand my power, but to fulfill my responsibility,” Ma said at the time.
The KMT chairman election is scheduled for July 26.
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