TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former speaker of the Legislative Yuan and Kuomintang (KMT) presidential primary contender Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) has announced plans to visit China in May, sparking speculation that he will meet with the director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), Liu Jieyi (劉結一).
Wang announced that he will visit China from May 6 to 8 on Monday (April 29). The former speaker said he will be joined by over 90 family members on a trip to meet other relatives and pay tribute to ancestors in the Fujian Province.
Wang refused to acknowledge speculation that he will meet with Liu, who hosted Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in March. His itinerary is still being arranged, he said.
Wang said his trip is about “tracing cultural roots,” not politics, but stressed that he will stand fast behind the "Republic of China” if cross-strait issues are raised during his trip.
The majority of Taiwan's population shares a common Chinese origin, he said, in a move likely to be viewed favorably by Beijing. “The cultural and blood relationship across the Taiwan Strait cannot be divided.”
Wang, who is a current legislator and was Taiwan’s longest-serving Legislative Speaker from 1999 to 2016, announced his bid for presidency in March.
TAO confirmed Wang’s three-day visitation plan via a press statement on Monday afternoon. Wang will return to the birthplace of his ancestors, Zhangzhou City, and later visit Xiamen, the office said.
Wang is likely to meet with Liu in Xiamen.