The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.”
The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday.
On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline about Wang and the delegation that read: “With the Strait on the brink of war, this man is coming to the mainland to sue for peace.”
KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a press conference in Taipei that the KMT’s announcement last week that Wang would lead the delegation was aimed at “opening a window for cross-strait peaceful dialogue” and “promoting mutually beneficial people-to-people exchanges.”
However, the “suing for peace” claim has “changed the tone of the good intention of exchange,” she said.
The “overall atmosphere” across the Taiwan Strait is disadvantageous for exchange and dialogue between the two sides, so the KMT has decided “not to participate [in the forum] as a political party,” Wang said.
Cross-strait relations at present are “very complicated and sensitive,” she said.
“Any inappropriate comments or behavior are enough to cause serious harm to the hard-won goodwill and mutual trust,” she said.
The KMT believes that the two sides of the Strait should engage in exchanges based on reciprocity and dignity, and it would continue to work toward cross-strait exchange and dialogue, she added.
Asked if any KMT members would attend the forum, Wang said the forum is a non-governmental exchange event and KMT members could attend it in their personal capacity.
If people who had tentatively been included in the planned KMT delegation did attend, it would be their personal decision and they would not be representing the KMT, the party said.
The Mainland Affairs Council said it respected the KMT’s decision.
The government has always supported cross-strait exchanges that offer equal dignity, comply with regulations and do not involve any political preconditions, it said.
Additional reporting by CNA and Lu Yi-hsuan
‘NOT AN INCH’: The president said after incursions by Chinese warplanes that there should be very smooth collaboration between the executive and military branches President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that Taiwan would not budge “an inch” on issues of sovereign territory and would stalwartly defend its democratic freedoms. Tsai made the remarks during an inspection of surface-to-air missiles at an air force base in Hualien. She was accompanied by National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Wellington Koo (顧立雄), Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發), Chief of the General Staff Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) and Republic of China Air Force Commander Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基). After attending a briefing, Tsai was given a demonstration of procedures for a missile launch. Tsai granted the base a one-time subsidy to boost troop
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline