Newspaper article China Post

Chu Should Attend the Next KMT-CCP Forum Meeting

Newspaper article China Post

Chu Should Attend the Next KMT-CCP Forum Meeting

Article excerpt

Eric Chu, mayor of New Taipei, went overseas earlier this month for the first time since assuming office as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang. Call it a diplomatic sally, if you will. He visited Singapore to meet with Lee Kuan Yew, founding father of modern Singapore, and then attended a Taiwan-Hong Kong Forum meeting in Hong Kong, where he expressed his desire to visit China.

Beijing's reaction was immediate. Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, extended an invitation twice in two days. She quoted Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping as saying the "1992 Consensus" is the "common political base" for the conduct of relations between mainland China and Taiwan, and welcomed Chu's visit to China at an appropriate time.

President Ma Ying-jeou's Kuomintang government has greatly improved relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait on that common political base, under which Taipei and Beijing are agreed that there is but one China, the connotation of which can be orally and separately enunciated. He wanted to go to Beijing to meet Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation informal summit meeting in November last year. Xi couldn't meet Ma as president. So, Ma didn't go to Beijing. But he had to quit his concurrent Kuomintang chairmanship to take responsibility for the ruling party's nationwide local election fiasco in that month, and Chu was elected on Jan. 17 to succeed Ma.

Chu's reaction to Fan's invitation has so far been muted. Fan actually mentioned a KMT-CCP Forum meeting as the nearest possible time for Chu's China visit. This year's meeting will take place in May or June, but Chu, who has taken part in such a meeting before, has yet to say he will accept the invitation to attend, while Kuomintang sources said the KMT-CCP Forum has "no link" with the Chu-Xi meeting. Of course, the top leaders of the two parties do not necessarily attend, but they can, if they will.

Why is Chu hesitating to announce he will lead a Kuomintang delegation to the meeting scheduled for late spring or the early summer in a Chinese city yet to be made known? …

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