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KMT caucus to talk China with party head before her Beijing trip

Taipei, Oct. 14 (CNA) The legislative caucus of Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT) will meet with KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu to discuss her controversial cross-Taiwan Strait policy before she visits China next month, according to a lawmaker.

The meeting was arranged after KMT caucus convener Liao Kuo-tung let KMT Secretary-General Mo Tien-hu know that the party caucus wanted to speak with Hung before she leaves for China instead of after her return on Nov. 12 as the office had planned.

Liao hoped a meeting with Hung could be arranged next week, he said. Hung is expected to meet Communist Party of China (CPC) chief Xi Jinping at an upcoming KMT-CPC forum in Beijing, and some legislators fear she might have trouble defending her "one China, same interpretation" concept in Taiwan.

The "one China, same interpretation" concept is at odds with the "one China, different interpretations" principle adopted by former President and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou , and the two ideas have sparked debate not just among regular citizens but also among KMT members, Liao said.

"Being the highest representative of the people, the caucus hopes Hung can settle the controversy through dialogue with the party's lawmakers," Liao said.

The caucus also intends to release a statement declaring its stance that KMT headquarters should firmly stick to the "one China, different interpretations" policy, given that the "same interpretation" concept has sparked criticism.

KMT Central Policy Committee director Alex Tsai later revealed Friday that Hung will speak with party lawmakers in two meetings before setting off for Beijing.

Hung triggered the controversy last year after she was nominated as the KMT's presidential candidate.

Although Hung has insisted that her formula was no different than the policy followed under the KMT administration from 2008 to May 2016, which was "one China, different interpretations" based on the "1992 consensus," the party has never thought so.

Hung was eventually replaced by the then KMT Chairman Eric Chu as the party's presidential nominee.

The controversy, however, as well as Ma's much-criticized administration, resulted in the party losing both the presidency and its legislative majority to the Democratic Progressive Party in elections in January.

"One China, different interpretations" and the 1992 consensus contends that Taiwan and China reached a tacit understanding in 1992 that there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what that means.

It essentially allows the two sides to agree to disagree over the status of Taiwan, known formally as the "Republic of China." Ma has consistently said that the "1992 consensus" should serve as "the most important guideline in cross-strait relations."

But Hung said the term "one China, same interpretation" that she used to describe existing relations between Taiwan and China referred to "overlapping sovereignty claims by two constitutional governments in two separate jurisdictions."

In other words, there are two constitutional governments inside "the entire China," according to Hung. But the idea is hard for the majority of Taiwan's population to swallow, as it implies that Taiwan is a part of China.

Opinion polls in Taiwan have consistently shown that most people here see the Republic of China (Taiwan) as an independent, sovereign country separate from the People's Republic of China. (By Wang Cheng-chung and Elizabeth Hsu)

Updated : 2021-10-27 20:25 GMT+08:00