The fifth cross-strait economic and cultural forum between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began yesterday in Changsha in China’s Hunan Province, with the two sides agreeing to push for cross-strait cultural and education cooperation.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the forum yesterday, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) said he expected the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to join forces in developing cultural industries and educational exchanges.
Wu said that as Taiwan and China share a similar cultural background, they hold complementary cultural advantages that will guide the two societies toward respecting diverse values.
“Economics and culture are the two major bridges that connect the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. It is time to build the cultural bridge and seek closer cooperation in the cultural industry,” Wu told the forum.
Wu said the two sides should strengthen educational exchanges and promote cooperation between Taiwanese and Chinese media companies. He touted education as “the soil from which soft power grows” and said student exchanges would broaden students’ horizons and encourage them to create common goals in the pursuit of cultural achievements.
The preservation of Chinese culture and joint efforts to compile a Chinese dictionary were addressed at the forum, as were issues on cross-strait cooperation in the fields of alternative energy and environmental protection.
The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin (賈慶林) said the forum had become a major communication platform for the KMT and the CCP.
“The forum is a major platform for cross-strait exchanges and will continue to push for the development of cross-strait relations,” he said.
The 270-member delegation from Taiwan included several government officials from the Ministry of Education, the Council of Cultural Affairs and the Government Information Office. Two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members — former DPP legislator Hsu Jung-shu (?Q) and former Council of Agriculture minister Fan Chen-tsung (范振宗) — also attended the forum at the invitation of the CCP.
Wu said the forum was not limited to KMT and CCP members, and the two parties would continue hosting the forum in the future. Wu and the delegation were to visit Yuelu Academy and comic and animation businesses this morning and conclude the forum in the afternoon with a closing ceremony.
In Taipei, the DPP said its party headquarters would discipline the two DPP members who attended the forum despite the party’s ban.
DPP regulations bar party members who had served as party or elected officials from participating in the KMT-CCP forum, former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday, adding that party members who defy the regulation should be expelled from the party.
The DPP refused to send delegates to Changsha, calling the forum another move toward unification.
The KMT wants Taiwan and China to jointly compile a Chinese-language dictionary, which the DPP said would give people the impression that the two sides are moving toward cultural unification.
“The KMT and the CCP are cooperating to entice DPP members to take part in the forum,” acting DPP spokesman Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said yesterday. “Beijing held the forum as a ‘get-together of domestic political parties,’ which the DPP can not accept.”