KMT chief meets with Chinese leader in Beijing
Central News Agency
2009-05-26 11:09 PM
Beijing, May 26 (CNA) The visiting chief of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT), Wu Poh-hsiung, met Tuesday with Communist Party of China Secretary-General Hu Jintao, who is also China's president.

Wu, who arrived in Beijing a day earlier at the head of a KMT delegation, told journalists afterward that his meeting with Hu bore out his earlier forecast that the trip would be beneficial for both parties.

Noting that Tuesday's meeting was only two days away from the one-year anniversary of his first meeting with Hu, Wu suggested that an annual meeting between the two parties could be institutionalized.

"We reviewed the long way the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have come in the last year and are more sure than ever that peaceful development is the right direction for both," Wu went on.

"We will continue to move on this and will never retreat from it," he added.

"We also reiterate the foundation of mutual trust achieved by Hu and KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan in their 2005 meeting, namely the acceptance by both sides of the 1992 consensus and the opposition to Taiwan's independence, "he continued.

The 1992 consensus refers to an understanding between China and the KMT government that ruled Taiwan at the time that there is only one China, although Taipei and Beijing were each free to interpret the meaning of "one China" in their own ways.

Wu also quoted Hu as saying that he would like to see the conclusion of a trade pact that would benefit both China and Taiwan, adding that negotiations on the issue "hopefully will start in the second half of the this year and wrap up next year." The two party leaders also reached the decision at the meeting that the annual KMT-CPC forum slated for July, probably in Changsha, Hunan Province, should focus on cultural and educational exchanges.

Wu said Hu promised to address the problem of insufficient direct cross-strait flights on the Taipei-Shanghai and Taipei-Beijing routes even after a projected increase in July to 270 flights per week.

Wu and his delegation were scheduled to continue their China visit with a trip to Chongqing in Sichuan Province Wednesday before flying on to Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province.

They are expected to return to Taiwan June 1.

(By Maubo Chang)

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