The government will continue to promote cross-strait relations under the “one China” principle, with “one China” referring to the Republic of China (ROC), President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday ahead of an annual forum between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), with the KMT delegation to push for cross-strait exchanges.
The eighth KMT-CCP forum will be held from today to Tuesday in Harbin, China, and former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) will lead the delegation and leave today for the forum.
Meeting with Wu and the delegation before their departure yesterday, Ma stressed his insistence on promoting cross-strait peace on the basis of the (so-called) “1992 consensus” of there being “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation, and said he expected the two sides to strengthen cross-strait ties via various cross-strait exchange channels.
“The two sides insist on following the ‘one China’ principle, but agree to have different interpretations on what ‘one China’ means. This has been a very important foundation for us to promote cross-strait relations effectively,” he said during the meeting at the Presidential Office.
Ma’s comments on the “one China” principle were made in the wake of previous disputes over cross-strait status after Wu said during a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in March that cross-strait matters should be handled under the banner of “one country, two areas” (一國兩區).
The comments sparked disputes over definitions of cross-strait relations and drew concerns about the Ma administration’s pro-China stance defining Taiwan as an “area.”
Ma was reportedly unhappy with Wu’s comments, and had insisted on the “one China” principle when clarifying his remarks.
Ma yesterday lauded the KMT-CCP forum for serving as a key mechanism for cross-strait exchanges since it was established in 2005, when former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) visited China, and said the forum should continue to be held, dismissing allegations that the government has attempted to weaken the forum as the Straits Exchange Foundation played a more important role in handling the cross-strait negotiations with its China counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.
The KMT said Wu would not meet with Hu during the forum because the two had met in March. Chinese People’s Consultative Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin (賈慶林) will represent the CCP this year. On the agenda of this year’s forum will be economic and trade cooperation across the Taiwan Strait and peaceful cross-strait development.