Party Leaders Meet at Forum in Beijing

Eric Chu, chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), met with China’s President Xi Jinping in Xi’s capacity as leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on May 4 at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

Chu was in China as leader of his party’s delegation to a KMT-CCP forum held in Shanghai. The two party heads agreed to maintain economic cooperation under the “1992 Consensus,” the term for an understanding that there is only one China but that the two sides may have different interpretations of what that one China entails.

During the meeting, Chu expressed the hope that within the framework of the 1992 Consensus, Taiwan can broaden its international participation, for example by gaining entry into the proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), two organizations for which China is a major architect. Xi said China would welcome Taiwan’s bid to join the AIIB as well as to invest in China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which seeks to create rail and sea links toward central Asia and ultimately the Middle East. Reportedly, Xi said the KMT and CCP should continue to expand exchanges across the Taiwan Strait and explore new visions to benefit the people on both sides. He was quoted as saying “the two sides can consult each other on an equal basis under the principle of ‘one China’ and reach a reasonable arrangement.”

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rejects the “1992 Consensus” as a convenient fiction invented to smooth over relations across the Taiwan Strait. The director of the DPP’s department of Chinese affairs, Chao Tien-lin, condemned Chu’s visit to the mainland as compromising Taiwan’s sovereignty.

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