Hung tries to steer clear of political issues during mainland visit

During a meeting with the Kuomintang Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu on Tuesday in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the importance of the 1992 Consensus regardless of a power transition in Taiwan, while the visiting Kuomintang leader appeared to steer clear of talking about political issues.

Kuomintang officials expect Hung not to mention the party's new policy framework during the meeting with Xi, which includes deepening the recognition of the 1992 Consensus on the basis of the Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC) and exploring possibilities to end cross-Strait hostility through a peace agreement.

Before Hung's mainland trip, Kuomintang Central Policy Committee Director Alex Tsai stressed that the Hung-Xi meeting should not serve as a platform for the two parties to discuss cross-Strait policies, saying that the Taiwanese opposition party is unwilling to publicize its political goals at the meeting with Xi.

In fact, the proposal of signing a peace treaty with the Chinese mainland has been put forward by the Lee Teng-hui administration. But unfortunately, it was not put into effect at the time.

During the meeting with Xi, Hung managed to ingratiate herself with Kuomintang leaders seeking to smooth differences in cross-Strait policies, namely in interpretations of the 1992 Consensus, and calmed her political opponents on the self-ruled island, a tactics that can be reflected in her speech delivered during the meeting, which covers issues related to Sun Yat-sen's feats in founding modern China, the reaching of the 1992 Consensus, people-to-people exchanges and Taiwan's position in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Facing the pressure put by Beijing, which sees the One China principle as the foundation of the 1992 Consensus, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has given its response to the Hung-Xi meeting: asking Beijing to recognize the existence of the ROC; supporting dialogue with Beijing with no precondition; stating that the cross-Strait relations cannot be determined by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Kuomintang; and asserting that the Taiwanese people's freedom to choose the path must be respected.

So far, the Tsai Ing-wen administration has not shown a clear attitude toward the 1992 Consensus. Under the circumstances, how the CPC and the Kuomintang will promote the peaceful development of the mainland-Taiwan ties remains to be seen.

(The article is translated and edited by Ding Yi.)


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