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KMT leader starts visit in Nanjing

By PENG YINING | China Daily | Updated: 2016-10-31 07:29

KMT leader starts visit in Nanjing

Hung Hsiu-chu attends a press conference in Taipei, March 26, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

The visit of Hung Hsiu-chu, chairwoman of Taiwan's Kuomintang party, to the mainland this week will be significant for improving the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, according to academics.

Hung arrived in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, on Sunday to start a five-day visit, making her first stop at the Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the KMT.

On Monday, she will fly to Beijing for a forum on the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations as well as meetings with high-level leaders of the Communist Party of China.

It is the first time Hung has traveled to the mainland since becoming head of the KMT on March 30. It also marks the first visit by a KMT leader since the party lost the Taiwan leadership and a legislative majority to the Democratic Progressive Party in the January elections.

Under the current situation, interaction between the two parties and efforts to consolidate common political ground will have a positive influence on maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, An Fengshan, a spokesman for Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Wednesday.

He said the KMT and CPC have maintained communication since a "historic meeting" in 2005 that saw their leaders confirm their adherence to the 1992 Consensus, which commits to the one-China principle.

"We hope the exchange and interaction between the KMT and CPC can continue," An said. "Based on the political foundation of the 1992 Consensus, the two parties could improve cross-Straits relations and the well-being for people on both sides of the strait."

Cross-Straits relations have cooled since the DPP's election victory, said Ni Yongjie, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Taiwan Studies, a think tank. "Discussions on the current situation will surely be on the agenda during Hung's meeting with CPC leaders.

"Hung is strongly against so-called Taiwan independence," said Ni, referring to Hung's comments on opposing "independence" last week in a meeting with officials from the American Institute in Taiwan.

"Her trip to the mainland will bring more talks on the 1992 Consensus as well as exchanges between people from both sides of the strait."

Liu Guoshen, director of Xiamen University's Taiwan Research Institute, praised Hung's courage to visit the mainland at the current time.

"It's been a difficult time for cross-Straits relations, but the exchanges will not stop," he said. "The KMT plays an important role in the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations."

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