Mainland bids farewell to top negotiator
Updated: 2005-12-30 15:34
Hundreds of people turned out on Friday for the funeral of Wang Daohan, the
Chinese mainland's top negotiator with Taiwan.
(L) shakes hands with Koo Chen-fu on April 27, 1993.
Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin, who once considered Wang a mentor, and
incumbent Vice President Zeng Qinghong attended the funeral.
Wang Daohan, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan
Strait (ARATS), died on Saturday in Shanghai at the age of 90. His replacement
has yet to be named.
Wang's death coincided with the one-year anniversary of Koo Chen-fu's
death in Taiwan, according to Chinese lunar calendar.
Koo, chairman of the Taiwan-based Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF), and Wang
in his role as president of ARATS made a milestone negotiation in Singapore in
1993, setting up the basis for any future dialogues between the two
The groups reached a consensus that both would give their own oral statements
on the view that "both sides across the Straits adhere to the one-China
principle." This was later widely known as the '92 Consensus'.
Wang and Koo reached agreements on economy, technology and cultural
communications between both sides of the Taiwan Straits. The two maintained a
very close friendship through the years, sharing the same love for traditional
Chinese culture, especially Peking Opera. Koo used to send videos of himself
singing Peking Opera to Wang.
In 1998, Koo came to Shanghai and held the second round of negotiations with
Koo's widow Yen Cho-yun also attended Friday's funeral.
One of Wang's nephews, a 46-year-old sculptor who lives in Beijing, referred
to his late uncle as a "gentle and kind man."
"He was always looking out for the welfare of the country and not for
himself," Wang's nephew, Wang Zhao said.
Born in 1915 in the eastern province of Anhui, Wang rose to prominence during
his tenure as mayor of Shanghai from 1980 to 1985 before going on to teach
economics at major universities in both Shanghai and Beijing.