KMT leader in Guangzhou for historic mainland visit
Chiang Pin-kun, vice chairman of Taiwan Nationalist Party, has arrived in
Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province with a 34-member
delegation, the first trip to the mainland since 1949.
"We will also discuss cross-strait issues such as the opening of direct transport links and better protection of Taiwanese businessmen in the mainland," Chiang told reporters before departing with the 30-strong mission.
In Guangzhou, they will pay homage Tuesday to 72 KMT martyrs who died overthrowing the Qing Dynasty and founding the Republic of China in 1912.
During his stay in Guangzhou, Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua will throw a
banquet in Chiang's honor Monday evening, and Huang will brief Chiang on
Guangdong's development, according to a China New Service report.
The China Times said Jia Qinglin, a political bureau member and
deputy head of the central Taiwan Affairs Office, was to meet with the KMT group
"As the opposition party, we are willing to do what the government can't, or is unwilling to do," he said ahead of the five-day visit to Guangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing.
Observers said the trip, the first official visit by the KMT to the mainland since it was defeated in the civil war in 1949, was a prelude to a mainland visit by its KMT leader Lien Chan.
The KMT has called for friendly ties with Beijing while Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) attempts to declare the island independent.
"The lingering cross-strait tensions must be eased and to do so, efforts must be taken... the KMT would like to take an active step," Lien said Sunday.
Direct transport, commercial and postal links have been cut since the KMT fled to the island following defeat in the civil war.
Cross-strait ties have worsened since DPP's Chen Shui-bian won the "presidency" in 2000, ending the KMT's 51-year grip on power. He was re-elected last year.