Former Straits Exchange Foundation secretary-general C.V. Chen (陳長文) yesterday praised Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) performance during his visit to Shanghai last week, saying that Ko’s stance on cross-strait relations could “lubricate” developments in cross-strait relations.
In an article published in the Chinese-language China Times, Chen said that Ko made “four right moves” on his trip to China, the first being his ensuring the continuation of the annual Taipei-Shanghai forum.
The continuation of the event to promote cross-strait exchanges means that China and Taiwan have left open the “doors to promote goodwill” toward each other, Chen wrote.
In addition, Ko “did his homework” before the trip, established a good rapport with Chinese officials and did not make any gaffes, which Chen said was Ko’s most remarkable achievement, given his tendency to make indiscreet remarks.
These three points together represent the second right move by Ko, he said.
“With such high expectations built up ahead of the forum, Ko displayed a high level of self-restraint, which is the correct attitude. Hopefully, this kind of goodwill will continue to deepen,” he wrote.
The third right move by Ko was his “constructive” approach toward the furthering of cross-strait relations, he said.
“Since Ko is highly regarded among pan-green supporters, taking a constructive approach toward cross-strait relations helps to ease the anti-China sentiment in Taiwan,” Chen wrote.
Finally, Ko could lubricate the development of cross-strait relations if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wins the election next year, Chen wrote.
“With the DPP’s strong anti-China stance and the hostility it bears toward cross-strait exchanges, one cannot help but worry about the possibility of the DPP destroying the foundation for cross-strait exchanges,” he wrote.
Ko could be the “peacekeeper” of cross-strait ties, he wrote.
Ko chuckled yesterday when asked by reporters what his reaction was to Chen’s comments, saying: “Don’t give me so much stress.”
“The cross-strait relationship is the concern of leaders on either side of the Taiwan Strait. I merely provided some help. I will not be a key player,” Ko said.
In his at address at the opening ceremony of the Taipei-Shanghai forum on Tuesday last week, Ko expounded on his views on cross-strait relations, touting what he called the “2015 new standpoint,” which he said is built on “four reciprocal processes” and an understanding that both sides of the Taiwan Strait are “one family.”
Ko said that his stance on cross-strait relations and the forum can be summarized as “one family across the Strait” with four “reciprocal” actions: to know each other, to understand each other, to respect each other and to work with each other.
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