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KMT leader: Mainland visit to recall past, do business
Updated: 2005-03-28 07:50

P.K. Chiang, vice chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), said in Taipei Sunday that he will lead a 34-member KMT delegation to visit the Chinese mainland for the purposes of recalling the past and doing business.

Chiang Pin-kun, vice chairman of Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party, speaks during an interview in Taipei, March 25, 2005. Chiang said that he hopes to promote peace and harmony next week when he leads a party delegation to the mainland, its first visit since 1949. [Reuters]
At a press conference in Taipei, the capital of China's Taiwan Province, Chiang said he has visited the mainland twice in the past, but that the imminent trip is more crucial because the delegation will visit the tombs of "KMT martyrs" in Nanjing and Guangzhou and the cenotaph of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the KMT and pioneer of Chinese Democratic Revolution

The year 2005 is the 80th anniversary of the death of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and the 94th anniversary of the Huanghuagang Uprising in Guangzhou, Chiang said.

The five decades division across the Taiwan Straits is ascribed to the outcome of the civil war between the KMT and the Communist Party of China (CPC) in late 1940s, Chiang acknowledged.

The cross-straits tension in recent five years has "affected the economy of Taiwan," Chiang said, adding he believed that friction between the two sides should not continue and there must be a way for reconciliation.

"What the people of Taiwan need is a peaceful and happy life, economic prosperity and more job opportunities, but it is impossible for Taiwan to regain its past prosperity under the current tension," Chiang said.

The mainland's booming economy has impacted the whole world and the East Asian Region, he said. Under this circumstance, he noted, it is "the common aspiration of the Taiwan people" to revive the economy of Taiwan as fast as possible through the cross-straits exchanges.

Chiang went on to say he hoped that his upcoming visit would help simplify the procedure of cargo transportation and deal with other issues of concern for Taiwan business people. Direct links of trade, mail and air and shipping services across the Taiwan Straits will be conducive for Taiwan's economy and are mutually beneficial for the two sides, he said.

KMT Chairman Lien Chan also addressed the press conference, at which he reproached "some people in Taiwan" for their attempts to intensify the conflict across the Taiwan Straits. These actions "may provoke a war," he said. As the political situation is abnormal in Taiwan, the KMT wants to provide Taiwan people with one more prospect and one more option, Lien said.

Meanwhile, Lien called for using wisdom and resorting to still greater efforts to help the people of Taiwan to face up and resolve the true fundamental problems in Taiwan.

According to a latest survey by a Taiwan company, 44.6 percent of people questioned said they are in favor of KMT's mainland visit, while 31.3 percent said they are in opposition to such a visit.

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