Date
23 July 2017
KMT chief Eric Chu (L) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing Monday, in the highest level talks between the two sides in many years. Photo: Xinhua
KMT chief Eric Chu (L) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing Monday, in the highest level talks between the two sides in many years. Photo: Xinhua

Xi moots framework to ensure peaceful cross-strait ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called for peaceful development of cross-strait relations and offered “equal consultations” to settle political differences, Ming Pao Daily reported.

During a meeting in Beijing with Eric Chu, chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, Xi said the two sides can explore the feasibility of establishing a framework that will promote cross-strait relations and sustain peaceful development.

As the framework has been proposed by Beijing for the first time, some observers suspect that Xi was floating the idea of a cross-strait peace agreement. 

Liu Guoshen, dean of Xiamen University’s Taiwan Research Institute, said a new framework can ensure better cross-strait relations and provide a platform that allows public sectors of both sides to cooperate with each other.

However, he has his doubts whether Xi’s proposal can be realized.

The outcome may depend on the attitude of Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) if it wins the island’s 2017 presidential election, Liu said.

Chu, a likely KMT presidential candidate next year, said on Saturday — before the high-profile meeting with China’s top leader — that he will not touch on the possibility of signing a cross-strait peace agreement during his talks with Xi.

During the meeting on Monday, Xi described the “1992 Consensus” as a prerequisite for the Chinese Communist Party to engage with Taiwan authorities and political parties.

Both sides should be vigilant against statements such as “one country on each side” and “one China, one Taiwan”, Xi said, arguing that such comments will not bring peace or development.

According to Xinhua news agency, Chu expressed hope that both sides can work together on the basis of the 1992 Consensus to promote regional peace, environmental protection and economic integration.

Under the so-called 1992 Consensus, Beijing and Taipei recognized that there is only “One China”, though their interpretation of the meaning of that phrase was different.

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TL/AC/RC

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