Ku remembered as 'great man'
A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee yesterday expressed condolences over the death of Ku Chen-fu, chairman of the Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF) in Taiwan.
"I was shocked and deeply grieved to learn the death of Mr Ku, and hereby convey my sincere, heartfelt condolences to you and your family," said Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee, in a condolence message addressed to Ku's widow Yen Cho-yun.
Ku, 89, died of renal failure in Taipei in the wee hours of yesterday.
In his message, Chen noted that Ku had headed the Straits Exchange Foundation to promote exchanges, consultation and dialogues across the Taiwan Straits.
"Ku had held talks twice with President Wang Daohan of the (mainland-based) Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) to discuss issues relating to the benefit of compatriots on both sides of the Straits. Ku had always abided by the 1992 Consensus and had done his best to promote cross-Strait relations and consultation," said Chen.
In April 1993, Ku and his mainland counterpart Wang held in Singapore the first ever high-level, non-governmental talks between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. The talks were known as the Wang-Ku meeting. The two met again in Shanghai in October 1998.
The meetings were made possible after the ARATS and the SEF reached a consensus in 1992 that "both sides across the Taiwan Straits stick to the one-China principle, though each side may have their own interpretations.
"I still have a fresh memory of our meeting in Beijing six years ago, when Ku proposed a toast for the well-being of all Chinese on both sides of the straits, as well as for the reunification of China," said Chen.
Also yesterday, the ARATS and its president Wang Daohan also sent condolence messages to the SEF and Ku's widow Yen
"It is our sincere hope that the SEF will uphold and carry forward its founding principles set forth by Ku, and join hands with the ARATS to promote the resumption of (cross-Strait) consultation on the basis of the 1992 Consensus," said the ARATS in its message.
Wang, who composed his message in the style of classical Chinese prose, said he was tremendously saddened by the loss of "such a great man" as Ku.
Ku, a famous tycoon in Taiwan and also a veteran member of the Kuomintang party, became chairman of the Board of Supervisors of the SEF in 1990 and served in that post for four consecutive terms.
"We both regard the 1992 Consensus as a solemn promise to be kept all our lives," recalled Wang.
The 89-year-old Wang pointed out that "peace and reunification" are the only way out for cross-Strait relations, and called for the resumption of cross-Strait consultation and dialogue on the basis of the 1992 Consensus to "make Ku rest in peace."