KMT delegation from Taiwan to visit Beijing before party primary election

Chinese media reports ex-KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu will lead KMT group to Beijing May 12-15

File photo: Hung Hsiu-chu and Xi Jinping (2016, China govt. handout)

File photo: Hung Hsiu-chu and Xi Jinping (2016, China govt. handout)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – According to media reports, a group of Kuomintang (KMT) party members will make a visit to Beijing next week from May 12 to May 15 to “conduct consultations on issues of common concern” with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The delegation will be led by the former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), according to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman, Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), in an announcement made Thursday.

The group will discuss cross-strait relations and “the future of the Chinese nation” with the CCP in Beijing.

Ma, quoted by Xinhua, states that China “will work with people of insight from all walks of life on the island to advance cross-Strait relations in the right direction, create a better future for cross-Strait relations, and share the glory of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."

The delegation, which is not endorsed or promoted by the government of Taiwan, is likely to raise-eyebrows as it has been scheduled directly prior to the KMT party’s primary elections, which will see the party pick its candidate for the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

The former KMT’s chairwoman’s visit to Beijing, coming immediately before the KMT Central Standing Committee’s meeting on May 15 to begin the primary election process, is likely to raise suspicion among voters, and possibly create tension within the KMT as the party tries to determine their best candidate moving forward towards a general election.

In related news, one KMT hopeful, former president of the Legislative Yuan, Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), has been in China over the past week.

Liberty Times reports that Wang capped off his trip with a closed-door meeting with the chief of China's TAO, Liu Jieyi (劉結一), on Wednesday, (May 8). In comments for the media, Wang declared that supporters of Taiwan Independence have an "erroneous view" and that it will "never work."