Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the US-China Policy Foundation in Washington on Tuesday for his longstanding contribution to the improvement of cross-strait relations.
Lien received the award at the foundation’s 18th annual gala dinner, at which former US ambassador to China James Sasser was also presented with the same award for his contribution to US-China relations.
In his acceptance speech, Lien said US leaders on many occasions have expressed support for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations because this is not only in the interests of the people on either side of the Taiwan Strait, but also conforms to the interests of Asia and the rest of the world.
The US and China maintain diplomatic relations and strategic partnerships, he said.
Stable bilateral relations among Taipei, Washington and Beijing play an important role in the peaceful development of cross-strait ties, he added.
Peaceful cross-strait relations are in line with the global trend in which war will be replaced by peace, confrontation by competition and conflicts by cooperation, he said.
In 2005, Lien made an ice-breaking trip to China, where he met with then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), who was also chairman of the Chinese Communist Party at the time.
After his first trip to China, Lien continued to meet with Chinese leaders in China and at international forums such as the 2008 and 2011 APEC summits, according to a statement on the foundation’s Web site.
The current cross-strait ties in the business and cultural spheres are a direct result of Lien’s 2005 trip, the statement said.
In his speech, Lien said he was willing to share his Lifetime Achievement Award with Hu because that first visit was made possible through Hu’s resolution, broad vision and perseverance.
After the gala, Lien responded to media queries about the recently concluded KMT National Congress, saying that party members should unite to win the seven-in-one municipal elections next year.
On the question of whether his son Sean Lien (連勝文) will run for Taipei mayor next year, he said the decision is up to his son.