Former KMT chairman hopes meeting with Xi will enhance cross-strait ties

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 - Page 3

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) said yesterday that he expects his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) would enhance the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

Wu arrived in Beijing yesterday at the head of a KMT delegation for a three-day visit.

He is scheduled to meet with Xi today as part of a communications platform between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the first such meeting since Xi became president.

“It’s not easy to promote peaceful cross-strait development. We want to maintain the current situation and hope that cross-strait development does not go backwards. I think mainland China would agree,” Wu said prior to his departure from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The trip is Wu’s sixth visit to Beijing as leader of a KMT delegation. He is acting as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) envoy to discuss cross-strait development with China.

“I am leading the KMT delegation for the first time since Xi assumed his post of CCP general secretary. I think the trip carries significance in terms of timing,” he said.

The establishment of representative offices for the Straits Exchange Foundation in China and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) in Taiwan will also be discussed.

On Monday, in a meeting with Wu and other delegation members, Ma said that since Taiwan and China do not have state-to-state relations, the offices will not serve as embassies.

The government is planning to set up foundation offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The offices will serve Taiwanese businesspeople in China and help with visa applications.

The proposal to establish the offices, which requires an amendment to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), is pending review during the legislature’s extra session, which starts today.

Shortly after arriving in Beijing, Wu and the delegation met with Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍).

Delegation members include former KMT vice chairman Chan Chun-po (詹春柏), KMT Deputy Chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起).

The delegation will return home tomorrow.