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Communication, exchanges help ease cross-strait tensions: KMT official

06/14/2024 08:09 PM
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KMT Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (left) meets with Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chairman Wang Huning during the 2023 Strait Forum in the Chinese Province of Fujian in June that year. File photo courtesy of KMT
KMT Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (left) meets with Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chairman Wang Huning during the 2023 Strait Forum in the Chinese Province of Fujian in June that year. File photo courtesy of KMT

Taipei, June 14 (CNA) More communication and exchanges should help ease ongoing cross-Taiwan Strait tensions, an official with the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) said Friday prior to embarking on a flight to China for the 16th Straits Forum.

Speaking to reporters at Taoyuan International Airport, KMT Mainland Affairs Department head Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉) said the forum has been held 16 times, expressing hope that both sides of the strait can increase all levels of communication, including discussions on youth, religion and finance related matters.

The Straits Forum is an annual conference held between China and Taiwan, and will be held this year in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Saturday. KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) has appointed Sean Lien (連勝文), the party's vice chairman, to lead a delegation to the event.

While there, participants can discuss matters of common concern, in the hope of gaining a better understanding of issues or exploring potential opportunities for industrial cooperation while promoting exchanges, Lin said.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's top government agency in charge of cross-strait affairs, reiterated Thursday that the Straits Forum is essentially a united front platform of the Chinese Communist Party, saying it is not favorable to see personnel from local governments in Taiwan attending such a forum.

Asked if the event helps ease cross-strait tensions, Lin said it should because the more the two sides meet and communicate, the better the understanding, especially on matters of mutual concern.

The KMT is a civil organization, so it can reflect the concerns the people on Taiwan have to the other side of the strait, he added.

However, Lien did not comment before boarding the flight to China. His delegation included Lin as well as Yunlin County Magistrate Chang Li-shan (張麗善).

Meanwhile, Chang explained on Friday that she is attending the forum to share Yunlin County's experiences in agricultural promotion, while also meeting with Taiwanese businesspeople in China, in the hope they can be persuaded to invest in Yunlin's various industries.

(By Liu Kuan-ting, Chiang Yi-ching and Ko Lin)

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