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Commercial Times: Movement of cross-strait ties after Chu-Xi meeting

Eric Chu (???), chairman of Taiwan's ruling party Kuomintang, met for the first time with Communist Party of China General Secretary Xi Jinping (???) in Beijing Monday. During the meeting, Chu put an emphasis on requesting Beijing to help Taiwan expand its role on the international stage and expressing Taiwan's intention to take part in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, "One Belt, One Road" initiative and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Xi's speech, on the other hand, was focused on opposing Taiwan independence and opposing any action that would damage the "1992 consensus." The difference in focus between Chu and Xi was obviously influenced by Taiwan's approaching presidential election in 2016. As the chairman of the ruling party, Chu certainly needs to expand the government's achievements in cross-Taiwan Strait relations to win voters' trust and support. Xi, however, is more concerned about which direction the election will lead Taiwan and cross-strait ties. Opinion polls show that the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has gained more support this time around and is likely to win in 2016. But the DPP has so far refused to recognize the "1992 consensus," and this will pose the greatest uncertainty in cross-strait ties if the DPP returns to power. Xi's remarks were obviously targeted at the DPP. Against this backdrop, cross-strait relations might experience some fluctuations after the Chu-Xi meeting. On the issue of Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration, Beijing may become very conservative this year, fearing that if it helps Taiwan now, the results might be reaped by the DPP next year. Other issues that are likely to be put aside also include the signing of the cross-strait trade-in-goods agreement, a proposal for the two sides to set up representative offices in each other's territory and a plan to allow Chinese tourists to use Taiwan as a transit point to travel to other countries. (Editorial abstract -- May 5, 2015) (By Y.F. Low)

Updated : 2021-09-29 03:12 GMT+08:00