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KMT chairman returns from China

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) Eric Chu (???), chairman of Taiwan's ruling party Kuomintang, returned to Taiwan early Tuesday from a visit to China where he met with Communist Party of China General Secretary Xi Jinping. A large police presence was deployed to escort Chu at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, where a group of protesters from the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union was staging a demonstration against his China trip. Chu said that some people have spread rumors to defame him and even accused him of colluding with China, but as chairman of the KMT, he has the responsibility to continue to improve cross-Taiwan Strait relations to promote peace and cooperation for the good of Taiwan's next generation. During his talks his Xi, Chu said, he mentioned Taiwan's history over the past century, as a way to allow Beijing to understand the existence of different voices in Taiwan and the importance for the two sides to agree to disagree. He said he also proposed increasing the transparency of cross-strait relations and allowing young people, low and mid-income households, the agricultural sector and small- and medium-sized businesses to also benefit from improved cross-strait ties. On Taiwan's bid to expand its role on international stage, Chu said he hopes the two sides of the strait will work together to promote peace, economic development and environmental protection in the Asian region. The meeting, which took place Monday in Beijing, was Chu's first meeting with Xi and followed the precedent of three previous meetings between the leaders of the ruling parties on both sides in 2005, 2008 and 2009. On those occasions, China's then-President and CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao (???) met with the KMT chairman, who was Lien Chan (??) in 2005 and Wu Poh-hsiung (???) in 2008 and 2009. After 2009, it became politically problematic for the leaders of both parties to meet since President Ma Ying-jeou took over as chairman of the KMT in October 2009. When asked to comment on the Chu-Xi meeting, the U.S. State Department reiterated Monday that Washington welcomes steps on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to reduce tensions and improve cross-strait relations. "We encourage authorities in Beijing and Taipei to continue their constructive dialogue which we believe has led to significant improvements in the cross-strait relationship. And of course, as to the content and the pace and the scope of those interactions, it should be acceptable to people on both sides of the strait, but we'll leave those details to the people participating in those talks," said Jeff Rathke, acting deputy spokesperson for the State Department, said during a daily press briefing. (By Bien Chen-feng, Cheng Chung-sheng and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-28 19:40 GMT+08:00