Former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) is to lead the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) delegation to this year’s Straits Forum in Xiamen, China, next week.
With the 12th forum scheduled to open on Sunday next week, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) invited Wang to serve as the delegation head, as he is the “best candidate” to lead the group, while KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) would serve as deputy head, the KMT said in a statement yesterday.
“At this moment of cross-strait tensions, given the experience and reputation of former speaker Wang, he will surely be able to effectively convey Taiwanese’s concern about the cross-strait situation to the mainland, and promote understanding between societies across the Taiwan Strait,” it said.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
“Since the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] came to power in 2016, cross-strait relations have worsened day by day,” the KMT said. “The two sides are gradually moving into a dangerous position of deepening hostility.”
“To maintain Taiwan’s security and prosperity, the two sides must continue to [engage in] exchanges and dialogue, in order to reverse the malicious spiral toward war, and provide Taiwanese with a better option,” it said.
“Since official cross-strait channels have been interrupted, the KMT needs even more to carry the heavy burden and speak for Taiwan’s prosperity at the Straits Forum, and work for cross-strait peace,” it said.
The KMT delegation would also visit Taiwanese-invested businesses in the Xiamen area, the KMT statement said.
Asked if Chiang had asked him to convey any message to China, Wang said: “Not yet.”
“Whether or not [he would], I do not know,” Wang said, adding that he would engage in activities according to the party’s wishes.
The delegation is to depart on Wednesday next week and return on Sept. 21, he said.
Asked about the KMT’s announcement, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said he “hopes that any person, any political party or organization would abide by the nation’s laws.”
Additional reporting by Chen Yun, Lee Hsin-fang and CNA
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