KMT Chairman will not touch on peace agreement in Xi meeting

KMT Chairman will not touch on peace agreement in Xi meeting
Eric Chu (C), chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), Taiwan's ruling party, waves as he leaves Fudan University in Shanghai on May 2, 2015. Chu is the first Kuomintang chief to visit mainland China since 2008.

Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu said yesterday he will not touch on the possibility of signing a cross-strait peace agreement in his upcoming meet with his Chinese Communist Party counterpart Xi Jinping.

The ruling party chief made the remarks as he departed for Shanghai to attend a forum with Chinese Communist officials and a high-profile meeting with Xi.

Chu said he will only talk with Xi regarding economic issues, as well as Taiwan's bid to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

He said he will handle cross-strait relations in a pragmatic manner, creating a win-win situation for the next generation.

The KMT chairman was apparently trashing speculation on any political breakthroughs to be achieved by his visit, such as talks with Xi over the signing of a cross-strait peace pact, or redefining or even deviating from the so-called "1992 Consensus."

On the eve of his departure, Chu told the press that his trip would be meant to "deepen the '1992 Consensus.'"

He did not elaborate at the time, but it is now clear that he is unlikely to seek any new meanings for a consensus reached between Taipei and Beijing in 1992 concerning the "one China" concept.

Chu is scheduled to attend a forum on cross-strait economic affairs in Shanghai today, and to meet with Xi in Beijing tomorrow.

Chu also gave a 30-minute speech at Fudan University shortly after arriving in Shanghai.

He told the Fudan audience that there has been criticism from some sectors in Taiwan regarding his China visit, but he believes he is doing the right thing.

He said Taiwan is a society of multiple values where it is normal to see criticism and smearing.

The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has claimed Chu is trying to hijack cross-strait relations.

The DPP warned that cross-strait relations are different from those between the KMT and the Chinese Communists, meaning the KMT is not in a position to dictate the course of Taipei-Beijing ties.

But Yok Mu-ming, head of the pro-unification New Party from Taiwan, said Chu should make a bold move by proposing a cross-strait peace agreement during his talk with Xi.

Yok, who was also in Shanghai and will also take part in the cross-strait forum, said any party from Taiwan should work toward signing a cross-strait peace agreement regardless of its political stance.

Even the pro-Taiwan independence camp should seek to sign a peace agreement with Beijing, he said.

He criticised DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen for failing to clarify her cross-strait stance.

Tsai has vowed to maintain Taiwan's status quo if elected president, but Yok said she is actually avoiding the matter.

The New Party chief also said Chu should do more than just reiterating the "1992 Consensus," and must seek breakthroughs in cross-strait ties.

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