Wed, Mar 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Wu fuels uncertainty over KMT-CCP forum

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday fueled uncertainty over his party’s planned forum with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), saying he would not attend the annual meeting unless both parties could agree on an agenda.

Wu made the remarks on the sidelines of a get-together with members of the KMT’s Huang Fu-hsing (黃復興) military veterans branch in Taipei yesterday, about a week after the party announced that this year’s KMT-CCP forum has been scheduled for next month in China.

“[My attendance] hinges on the achievement of a general consensus between the two sides on the agenda and discussion topics. I also hope that preliminary conclusions could be reached beforehand,” Wu said.

“If I went and ended up walking away empty-handed, why should I bother to make the trip?” he said.

The consensuses he hopes to achieve with Beijing are ones that are conducive to the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations, which could help the government break the current stalemate across the Taiwan Strait, he said.

“Unless these preconditions are met, I will not arrange to travel to China,” Wu added.

According to a statement issued by the KMT on Tuesday last week, this year’s forum is to focus on issues concerning China-based Taiwanese businesspeople, as well as Chinese tourists and students visiting Taiwan.

The KMT-CCP forums began in 2006, when the Democratic Progressive Party was in power, and a year after former vice president and then-KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) visited China in April 2005.

It was originally called the Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum, but in November 2016 then-KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) changed the name to the Cross-Strait Peaceful Development Forum “in response to the new situations across the Taiwan Strait.”

If Wu attends, it would be the first such forum he has participated in since taking over the KMT in August last year.

There is also the possibility of him meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), as his predecessors, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) did in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

However, as a former vice president, Wu is required by the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法) to apply for permission from the government to travel overseas in the first three years after leaving office.

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