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KMT vice chair to visit China again in late April

04/13/2024 12:40 PM
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Kuomintang Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia. CNA photo April 13, 2024
Kuomintang Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia. CNA photo April 13, 2024

Washington, April 12 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (夏立言), who is currently visiting the United States, said Friday he will embark on a trip to China in late April.

Speaking with reporters in Washington, Hsia said the purpose of his upcoming visit to Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, is to participate in cultural activities to honor Xia Yu, also known as Yu the Great, legendary founder of the Xia dynasty.

Hsia said the organizers invited him to the annual event for the past three years, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it could only be held remotely at that time.

The vice chairman indicated he is unlikely to meet with Chinese officials during this upcoming trip.

After back-to-back visits to China in February and March, Hsia emphasized that on those occasions, he was there to either attend cultural events or meet with Taiwanese business people, as there are about 150 Taiwanese trade associations in the country.

When asked how China's slowing economy is impacting Taiwanese business people there, Hsia responded that he is not an economist and therefore his observations are based on personal observations and may not be entirely accurate.

During the event, Hsia also spoke about sharing his observations in China and the direction of the KMT with American academics.

Hsia said he told them that one of the reasons for the KMT's past failures is that people view it as an "old party," which is why KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) has appointed many younger people to positions of authority in the party.

This was something they did not know, he said, expressing hope that this could help the KMT appeal to more young voters in future.

Regarding concerns that the KMT could cut Taiwan's defense budget due to it having most seats at the Legislature, Hsia said he made it clear to the U.S. that his party supports increasing the country's defense budget and the purchasing of new weapons.

However, in addition to strengthening Taiwan's defenses, the two sides across the Taiwan Strait must also have channels for dialogue and communication, he said, citing the meeting between former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Beijing as a good example.

The KMT has always supported promoting dialogue and communication that are conducive to cross-strait stability and peace, the party's vice chairman said, adding that Ma's visit to China is a plus for the KMT.

Hsia left Taiwan for a 10-day visit to the U.S. on April 4 as part of the party's efforts to strengthen ties with Washington.

(By Chung Yu-cheng and Ko Lin)

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