This visit has been getting plenty of space in the papers here in HK. It seems to me that the mainlanders are trying to use a similar strategy to the one they used in the 90s against the colonial government in HK: “lighting the second stove.” Now they are inviting Lian Zhan to Beijing.
[quote]KMT leader is invited to Beijing in latest overture
Lien Chan may visit on May 29 - the day Chiang Kai-shek left for Taiwan in 1949
JOSEPHINE MA in Beijing
CPPCC chairman Jia Qinglin (right) meets Chiang Pin-kung, vice-chairman of the KMT.
Beijing yesterday extended an official invitation to Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan to visit the mainland, in its latest friendly overture to Taiwan’s largest opposition party.
The invitation, conveyed by Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference chairman Jia Qinglin , came after Mr Lien expressed a desire to visit the mainland later in the year.
If it goes ahead, the visit will be the highest level of contact between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party since the KMT fled the mainland after it was defeated in the civil war in 1949.
The invitation was given at a meeting between Mr Jia and the visiting KMT vice-chairman, Chiang Pin-kung. Xinhua quoted Mr Jia as saying that Mr Lien could visit the mainland “at a time he thinks appropriate”.
Beijing has rolled out the red carpet for Mr Chiang and his 34-strong KMT delegation during their five-day visit, which included stops in Guangzhou and Nanjing .
Apart from Mr Jia, who ranks fourth in the Politburo Standing Committee, Mr Chiang met State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan and Chen Yunlin , director of the Communist Party’s Central Office for Taiwan Affairs. Members of the delegation was also greeted by crowds of mainlanders during their visits to memorial sites.
In extending the invitation, Mr Jia said: “KMT chairman Lien Chan has expressed his willingness to visit the mainland. We welcome and invite chairman Lien Chan to visit the mainland at a time he thinks appropriate.”
Mr Jia told the delegation he believed a visit by Mr Lien would bring about breakthrough in the development of cross-strait relations, KMT spokesman Chang Yung-kung said after the meeting.
Mr Jia also invited chairmen of other political parties that “embrace the 1992 Consensus” - or the principle of one China - to visit the mainland, he said.
While officials from both sides claimed no date was set for the visit, Taiwan media have speculated that Mr Lien would choose May 29 because of its symbolic meaning - the date when former KMT chairman Chiang Kai-shek left the mainland for Taiwan 56 years ago.
A source close to Mr Lien said yesterday that both sides were already working on technical details of Mr Lien’s visit, such as the officials he would meet.
Declining to disclose the date, the spokesman said Mr Lien would visit the mainland before he stepped down as KMT chairman. The vote for the new chairman will be held in May.
At a separate meeting yesterday, Mr Tang also gave a goodwill gesture to the KMT delegation, assuring it that the mainland was willing to give more room for Taiwan to participate in the “technical activities” of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
However, Mr Chang said Mr Tang did not define “technical activities” or whether it would amount to participation in the WHO general assembly.
“The Ministry of Health [on the mainland] is now communicating with the WHO to make reasonable arrangements for medical and health-care personnel from Taiwan to take part in WHO technical activities,” Mr Chang quoted Mr Tang as saying.
“We can read the message that the mainland had a positive response [to Taiwan’s request] and obviously hoped to take the initiative to give more room for Taiwan. Of course, we hope there will be as much room as possible.”
The US had been pushing for the mainland to make some goodwill gestures, including allowing WHO membership for Taiwan, to defuse the tension across the strait following the promulgation of the Anti-Secession Law.
The KMT delegation will leave for Taiwan via Hong Kong today.
As I read about this visit, two questions come to mind:
- Is this visit and whatever talks that lead to the ten points agreed upon by the KMT and CCP a violation of ROC laws governing cross-strait exchanges? At least one paper in HK (信報) has stated that this is the case.
- If this is a violation of ROC law, will CSB have the balls to order that these guys be arrested as soon as they land at CKS?