Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday said Taiwan’s political parties should engage with China to enhance mutual understanding.
Prior to his departure for a forum in China, Wu said that engagements between major local political parties and the Chinese Communist Party would help Chinese leaders understand the different voices and views that exist inside Taiwanese society.
“Engagements and increased mutual understanding will ultimately help bridge our domestic divisions and facilitate the formation of a national consensus on the development of relations across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
Wu also said he is pleased to see that heavyweights from the Democratic Progressive Party have recently outlined new visions and strategies for their party’s future engagements with China.
The KMT heavyweight is leading a delegation of more than 200 KMT officials and representatives from other local political parties, industries, academia and public agencies to attend an annual cross-strait economic, trade and cultural forum.
The two-day forum opens today in Harbin in China’s Heilongjiang Province.
Wu said that since the first forum of its kind took place eight years ago, many decisions reached at such annual gatherings have been integrated into the cross-strait policies of Taipei and Beijing as well as various bilateral cooperative programs.
“The annual cross-strait forum has contributed much to institutionalized negotiations between Taiwan and the mainland over the past eight years,” Wu said, adding that this year’s agenda will focus on promoting peaceful cooperation in cultural and economic fields to boost the well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Members of the delegation include New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), People United Party Chairwoman Hsu Jung-shu (許榮淑), People First Party Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生) and KMT vice chairmen Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) and John Chiang (蔣孝嚴).
Both Wu and Jia Qinglin (賈慶林), chairman of the Beijing-based Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, will speak at the event.
Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Cho Shih-chao (卓士昭) will speak on how the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has strengthened bilateral cooperation, while Jiang Yaoping (蔣耀平), Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, plans to provide an overview of cross-strait economic ties over the past four years as well as providing an outlook for the future.