Taiwan Nationalists leader visits Beijing

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kung is meeting with CPC officials in Beijing.

A delegation of from the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT, or Nationalist Party), is meeting with Communist Party of China (CPC) officials in Beijing today, led by KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kung.

"We hope the current crisis can be minimized," Chiang said in Beijing. "After the anti-secession law was enacted we saw reactions and protests," he continued, "The Beijing authorities have likely heard it for themselves but we have also brought the voice of the Taiwanese people with us."

Banquet and meeting

Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the People's Republic of China, hosted Chiang at a banquet in Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Chen characterized the delegation's visit as opening "party to party dialogue" and that the visit "has inaugurated the first sign of a dialogue between your Party and our Party."

Wednesday evening, Chen met with the delegation to discuss cross-Straits economic ties. Representatives from numerous other Chinese agencies were also present at the meeting, including the Ministries of Agriculture and Commerce, and the General Administration of Civil Aviation. The meeting discussed the possibility of opening up Taiwan to tourists from the mainland.

Zhu Peikang, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the mainland's Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang, also welcomed the Nationalist delegation.

Zhu said Chiang's visit was important, and "focused on the common interests of the people on both sides and the promotion of the cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation."

Visit to Nanjing

The Nationalists are the main opposition party in Taiwan.

Earlier in the day, Chiang was in Nanjing, to lay a wreath at the tomb of his party's founder, Sun Yat-sen. He also signed a guest book at the former Nationalists presidential office with the line, "Icebreaking journey."

"My heart was filled with limitless excitement and deep emotion," Chiang told the Associated Press. "It was very moving to visit."

Nanjing was the former capital used by the Nationalists before they lost the civil war with the Communists and evacuated to Taiwan in 1949.


In Taiwan, Joseph Wu, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, condemned the visit by the Nationalist delegation to the mainland.

"The Chinese strategy is always divide and conquer, and the KMT is playing into China's hands," he told The New York Times and International Herald Tribune reporters. "It's very odd that they would cooperate with the Communist Party instead of the ruling party here on Taiwan," Wu said.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Ying-mao Kau disclosed that the United States is concerned about the Nationalist visit, and that American officials have privately said that Taiwan's political parties should first unify and build a consensus to strengthen their negotiating position with mainland China.

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