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KMT-CPC forum in May raising possibility of Chu-Xi meeting

Taipei, April 9 (CNA) An annual forum between Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) and its mainland Chinese counterpart, the Communist Party of China (CPC), is set to be held in late May, giving rise to the possibility of a meeting between the leaders of the two parties, an unidentified KMT source said Thursday. The 10th KMT-CPC forum, formally named "Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum," should have taken place last year but was postponed for many reasons, according to the source speaking on condition of anonymity. But it looks like it will go ahead this year, according to the source. The KMT will issue a press release on Friday to reveal the time and location of the event as well as who will represent the KMT to attend the forum. Arrangements for the forum have largely been made, with some details still having to be worked out with the CPC, said the source familar with cross-strait affairs. Asked whether KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???) will lead the Taiwanese delegation to participate in the forum in China, the source suggested the possibility would be quite high given that Chu has said during his visit to Hong Kong in March that it's proper for a KMT chairman to attend the KMT-CPC forum. KMT Honorary Chairmen Lien Chan (??) and Wu Poh-hsiung (???) attended the forum in their capacity as then KMT chairman. If Chu visits the mainland, there will be a high possiblity of a meeting between him and Xi Jinping (???), general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, the source said, adding that a Chu-Xi meeting will not necessarily be held during the KMT-CPC forum but could be arranged by delinking it from the forum. Earlier media reports said that since the forum is scheduled for late May when Xi would make an overseas trip, a Chu-Xi meeting therefore is unlikly to take place. In addition, if Chu intends to run in the 2016 presidential election, his visit to China as a presidential candidate could be quite politically sensitive. On Wednesday, the KMT unveiled its presidential candidate nomination rules, under which presidential aspirants can pick up application forms and start collecting signatures of endorsement from party members from April 20 to May 16 and register for the race on May 17 and 18. This means whether or not Chu will lead the KMT delegation to attend the KMT-CPC forum in late May could be seen as an indication of whether he will run for president next year. (By Claudia Liu and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-09-27 04:14 GMT+08:00