Significance of Xi-Hung meeting should not be underestimated: expert

Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT), chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu visits an innovation incubator named Vstartup in Beijing, China, November 1, 2016. Photo: Reuters

In the face of a deadlock in communication and institutional consultation between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan after Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, assumed the presidency of Taiwan, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with his Kuomintang counterpart Hung Hsiu-chu on Tuesday in Beijing will play a significant role in promoting the relations between the two sides of Taiwan Strait, experts from the Chinese mainland said.
Since the landmark meeting between former Chinese President Hu Jintao and then-Kuomintang President Lien Chian in 2005, encounters between leaders from the Communist Party of China and the KMT have taken place several times. But the significance of the ongoing Xi-Hung meeting is no less than that of the Hu-Lien one in 2005, as it is the first time Hung is visiting Beijing as the president of the KMT, and also because the meeting probably comes at the most difficult time in KMT history, according to a Chinese expert.
“The Xi-Hung meeting not only shows the Chinese mainland’s approval to the recent peace program passed by the KMT, but also its support to Hung’s stance of adhering to the 1992 Consensus and opposing independence,” said Yang Lixian, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
A common question about the Xi-Hung meeting is how will Hung interpret the 1992 Consensus which states that there is only one China but each side has had its own interpretation of what that means in the past.
Political divergence is also an issue that awaits the two sides to find solutions, after having been shelved for years.
“We don’t want the long-existing political divergence between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to be passed to our next generations. It should be resolved through dialogue between the two sides of the Strait under the ‘one China’ policy,” said An Fengshan, spokesperson of Taiwan Affairs Office, at a recent press conference.
“In the current situation, the meeting between leaders of the CPC and the KMT will play an active role in consolidating the common political basis, maintaining peaceful and stable relations, as well as protecting interests and benefits of the people of both sides of the Strait,” he said.
Experts say it’s necessary to pay attention to the effect of the Xi-Hung meeting on the relations across the Strait, the political situation on the island, and the development of the KMT.
(This article is translated and edited by Chunmei.)

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