Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday said he was going to China to promote engagement across the Taiwan Strait.
“The purpose of my trip is very simple — to boost bilateral exchanges by reviewing past developments and projecting future growth trends,” Lien said prior to his departure for Beijing.
Lien, who is traveling at the head of a delegation of more than 30 political figures and business executives, said he had not visited Beijing in nearly two years.
“I want to take advantage of this trip to get an overview of the latest developments there and meet old friends and good pals of mine, as well as make new friends,” he said.
“Today happens to be the Lantern Festival on the Chinese Lunar calendar. This is a really good time to make a nostalgic, yet forward-looking journey,” he added.
Lien said that while cross-strait relations have made substantial progress in various aspects since the crucial years of 2005 and 2008, there was still ample room for improvement.
In 2005, Lien met Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) for the first time in Beijing in his capacity as then-opposition KMT chairman. The meeting was widely credited as an ice-breaking event that helped thaw the long-stalled cross-strait relations.
Bilateral engagements made another breakthrough in 2008, when the the KMT returned to power and institutionalized cross-strait talks were resumed.
During his current visit to Beijing, Lien said he would exchange views with the Chinese side on how to expand and deepen bilateral engagements based on past achievements and current foundations.
Lien further said he was not visiting China for any partisan or personal interests.
“The trip is mainly for maintaining lasting peace, stability and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait,” Lien added.
Chinese authorities reportedly took the initiative to invite Lien to visit Beijing.
He is scheduled to meet with China’s president-in-waiting, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平), today, making him the first influential Taiwanese figure to meet with Xi since he took over the helm of the Communist Communist Party (CCP) in November last year.
Xi, who has seldom addressed Taiwan-related topics in public since he assumed the post as CCP general secretary, is widely expected to outline his vision for cross-strait relations during his meeting with Lien.
Lien will hold a press conference in Beijing at 11am today after his meeting with Xi earlier in the day, according to reports from Beijing.
The members of Lien’s delegation include KMT vice chairmen Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) and John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), Lien’s son, Sean Lien (連勝文), and several business tycoons, such as Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) and Ruentex Group chairman Samuel Yin (尹衍樑).
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung