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September 26, 2017

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Cross-strait relations not int'l: Lien Chan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) remarked that the relationship between Taiwan and China is not considered an international relationship during his meeting with Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) in Beijing this week.

This was Lien's second meeting with Xi. Lien's delegation consisted of representatives from various sectors in Taiwan on a visit to Beijing, lasting from Monday to Thursday.

In the meeting yesterday, Lien said to Xi that cross-strait relations should progress within the "one China" structure, also insisting that the two sides should implement the so-called 1992 Consensus and that Taiwan and China do not share an international relationship.

The former vice president also encouraged Taiwan and China to scale the steps to a better relationship and to climb higher in the future.

Lien's delegation consisted of over 80 people from businesses, religious organizations and laborers in Taiwan, all of whom were treated to a banquet by China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) at The Westin Beijing.

Both Xi and Lien praised the recent meeting between Zhang and Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦); both agreed that the meeting had settled many topics and ended quite successfully, as the development of cross-strait relations is a meaningful thing to promote.

As Lien's visit came almost immediately after Wang's meeting in the mainland, Lien's motivation was also interpreted as political. However, Lien's office released a statement saying that the visit was simply an unofficial meeting, and that it does not represent the Taiwanese government, nor any political party or organization in Taiwan.

Among Lien's delegation was Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), EVA Air Chairman Chang Guo-wei (張國煒) and Buddhist monk Hsing Yun (星雲法師) of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order.

Xi lauded Lien for his deep connection with his own people, for Lien had persevered in promoting the cross-strait relationship; Xi also pointed out that the relationship had progressed significantly and brought many benefits for both sides.

Lien had been the first high-ranking KMT leader to visit the mainland since 1949 when he led a delegation in April 2005. Since then, he has maintained warm relations with top Communist Party leaders including Xi's predecessor Hu Jintao.

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