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April 29, 2017

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'ROC' comment omitted in Chinese reports on Lien-Xi meeting

TAIPEI--Major Chinese media outlets avoided any mention of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name, in reports on Tuesday's meeting in Beijing between Lien Chan (連戰), the honorary chairman of Taiwan's Kuomintang, and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

According to Lien's aides, the former vice president urged Beijing to respect the existence of the Republic of China, but the comment was completely ignored by Chinese media, which were clearly following the lead of China's state run Xinhua News Agency (新華社).

Instead, they stressed Lien's remark on reinforcing the one-China framework under which the two sides deal with each other and Xi's statement that Beijing would embrace any Taiwanese who are willing to push for peaceful development across the strait, regardless of their previous political views.

Citing Chu Jintao, an expert on Taiwan affairs at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Beijing News lauded Lien for playing a key role in promoting peace between China and Taiwan.

Chu said Lien has been a catalyst for positive development between Taipei and Beijing since he visited Beijing in 2005 in defiance of heavy political pressure at the time.

Now that the exchanges between the two sides have expanded from the private sector to political parties and officials, it proves that Lien's contribution was significant, Chu said.

In Taiwan, Lien's trip in 2005 was considered by the Democratic Progressive Party government at the time and its followers as undermining the country's interests. They accused him of pandering to China at the expense of Taiwan's sovereignty.

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