Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) arrived in Hong Kong yesterday for a two-day forum on cross-strait affairs hoping to foster closer engagement between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The forum, co-organized by Hsieh’s Taiwan Reform Foundation and the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, one of Beijing’s major Taiwan-related think tanks, will be held today and tomorrow. Academics from both sides of the Strait, as well as nine DPP lawmakers, are expected to attend.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Taiwan Studies director Yu Keli (余克禮) would be the most notable of the Chinese academics.
“While cross-strait engagement is welcome, it is now imbalanced as interaction only takes place between the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] and the CCP, which has caused public anxiety and unease,” Hsieh, who is scheduled to deliver a speech at the forum titled “Development and innovation of cross-strait relations,” said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday before leaving for Hong Kong.
The former premier reiterated that he would be attending in a private capacity.
At a news conference after arriving in Hong Kong, Hsieh said both sides of the Taiwan Strait need be tolerant to allow mutual cooperation. Later yesterday, he attended a dinner hosted by former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa (董建華) in his honor.
The forum marks Hsieh’s latest move to boost relations between the DPP and the CCP following his visit to Beijing last year as the first DPP heavyweight to visit China.
Hsieh submitted an initiative of “constitutions with different interpretations (憲法各表)” in Beijing, saying that it would be a good way to help boost mutual harmony.
Additional reporting by CNA