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Arrangements possible for Taiwan to join regional cooperation: Xi

2015/05/04 17:57:32

Beijing, May 4 (CNA) Arrangements can be found for Taiwan to participate in regional cooperation under the "one China"framework, said Xi Jinping (習近平), general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, during talks in Beijing on Monday with Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫).

"Taiwan has expressed interest in joining in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which we welcome," Xi said, citing an example on Taiwan's bid for regional integration, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

China is willing to share the opportunities for economic benefits first and foremost with Taiwanese, Xi said.

He also said his government will keep working to ensure the legal rights of Taiwanese businesspeople in China and provide them with "better conditions for development."

In addition, China will continue to protect the interests of the Taiwanese public, small and medium-sized businesses, farmers, and fishermen, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of enhanced cross-strait relations, he said.

Xi's remarks were seen a positive response to Chu, who has been pushing for a bigger role for Taiwan in the global community, based on the "1992 consensus" between Taiwan and China.

The "1992 consensus" is an understanding that was reached between Taiwanese and Chinese representatives in 1992 that there is only one China but both sides are free to interpret what that means.

Chu has suggested that Taiwan be allowed to participle not just in the China-led AIIB but also in China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade bloc.

It was Chu's first meeting with Xi and followed the precedent of three previous meetings between the leaders of the two parties in 2005, 2008 and 2009.

On those occasions, China's then-President and CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) met with the KMT chairman, who was Lien Chan (連戰) in 2005 and Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) in 2008 and 2009.

After 2009, it became politically problematic for the leaders of both parties to meet since Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou took over as chairman of the KMT in October 2009.

Chu, who assumed chairmanship of the KMT in January, is on a three-day visit to China.

(By Chou Hui-ying, Yin Chun-chieh and Lee Hsin-Yin)
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