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KMT chairwoman heads to Beijing

2016/10/30 18:26:26

Kuomintang (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱)

Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) departed for China on Sunday to attend a cross-Taiwan strait forum.

Before leaving, Hung told the media that her meeting with Communist Party of China (CPC) chief Xi Jinping (習近平) is aimed at continuing cross-strait exchanges at the civilian level to create peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Such a meeting indicates that a foundation of mutual trust still exists between the KMT and the CPC, she said.

"The KMT stands firm in its position of opposing Taiwan independence, even though the Democratic Progressive Party keeps walking its pro-independence road.

"For the sake of peace, we must be brave in shouldering our responsibility -- this is not for the KMT, but for the 23 million people on Taiwan and for the next generation," she said.

While her supporters cheered her with placards that read "We love Sister Chu. All the best for your voyage of peace," anti-KMT activists such as the youth league of the Taiwan Solidarity Union jeered her for "kissing Communist asses and betraying Taiwan."

KMT sources said earlier in the day that Hung is expected to talk about the "peace platform" passed at the KMT congress in September during her meeting with Xi slated for Tuesday.

Hung will mention the platform to enhance the "1992 consensus," which China sees as a political basis for exchanges, and explore the possibility of building a military mutual trust mechanism that lowers China's military threat, the sources said.

The "1992 consensus" as perceived by the previous Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration refers to a tacit understanding between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret its meaning.

The new government led by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has not accepted the consensus, and Beijing has responded by suspending official dialogue across the Strait and making it harder for Taiwan to maneuver in the international community.

The DPP government has warned the opposition party not to sign any agreements with China, and the sources said that even if Hung proposed that a peace treaty be signed between the two sides, it would be aimed at exploring the possibilities for such a peace agreement to be signed only after the KMT returns to power.

Such an agreement would certainly not be signed at present, the sources added.

Hung is expected to seek more room for Taiwan in the international community during her meeting with Xi, though she is unlikely to receive any response from Beijing because of the KMT's status as an opposition party.

During her visit to Dr. Sun Yat-sen's mausoleum in Nanjing on Monday, Hung is likely to mention the Republic of China while elaborating on the history of the founding of the ROC by Sun, according to the sources.

There will be no surprises during Hung's trip to China, the sources added.

Prior to Hung's Beijing trip, a public opinion survey released by the KMT on Sunday found that over 50 percent of respondents supported the "peace platform" adopted by the party on the basis of the ROC Constitution.

(By Evelyn Kao)