Thu, Jan 10, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT to establish ‘exchanges center’

CROSS-STRAIT TIES:The party said it is time to establish a platform for bilateral city and township exchanges, as it already has three centers catering to different groups

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, second left, Yunlin County Commissioner Chang Li-shan, third right, and Kinmen County Commissioner Yang Cheng-wu, right, attend a lunch meeting with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would establish a “cross-strait city and township exchanges service center,” which is to serve as a new platform for exchanges between the party and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The decision to set up the center was reached at a lunch meeting yesterday in Taipei between KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and 10 of the 15 KMT city mayors and county commissioners.

Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌), Yilan County Commissioner Lin Zi-miao (林姿妙), Lienchiang County Commissioner Liu Tseng-ying (劉增應) and Chiayi Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) were absent from the meeting, but Lu and Hsu sent representatives.

KMT Mainland Affairs Committee director Chou Jih-shine (周繼祥) proposed the center at the meeting in light of the need for cross-strait city-to-city exchanges, KMT Culture and Communications Committee acting director-general Tang Te-ming (唐德明) said.

As the KMT has established three service centers for China-based Taiwanese businesspeople and students, as well as Chinese spouses in Taiwan, it is time to set up a new center for bilateral cross-strait city and township exchanges, Tang quoted Chou as saying.

The local leaders at the meeting gave the proposal their support, Tang said.

An advisory committee for the exchanges service center is to be established consisting of representatives designated by the KMT local heads, academics and China-based Taiwanese businesspeople, who would jointly explore possibilities for cross-strait exchanges, the party said.

The meeting was aimed at allowing the KMT’s local leaders to clarify their preferred direction and focus for cross-strait exchanges, Nantou County Commissioner Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) said.

The declining number of Chinese tourists has taken a toll on Nantou’s tourism industry, he said, adding that he plans to help increase that number.

Most KMT-governed cities and counties have begun discussions on bilateral exchanges with Chinese cities and provinces, Yunlin County Commissioner Chang Li-shan (張麗善) said, citing as an example dialogue between Yunlin and China’s Sichuan Province and Chengdu.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) proposal of a “country, two systems” framework for Taiwan is “completely irrelevant” to the “1992 consensus,” Wu said, reiterating that the “1992 consensus” allows Taiwan and China to have their own interpretations of what “China” means.

He said he hoped that cross-strait relations could be advanced based on the “1992 consensus” to create a mutually beneficial, win-win situation.

The so-called “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the CCP that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Additional reporting by CNA

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