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People First Party chairman to meet with Chinese officials

BEIJING -- People First Party (PFP, 親民黨) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) will meet with top Chinese officials during a trip to Beijing this week, sources said yesterday.

Soong is likely to meet with Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, according to sources.

He is also expected to meet with Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), the head of the Taiwan Affairs Office, the sources said.

An official with the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council told CNA separately that Soong, a former presidential candidate, will meet with two high-level officials on Wednesday in Beijing.

One meeting will take place at the Great Hall of the People while the other will be held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, said the official, who wished to remain anonymous.

Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) confirmed the visit in a statement Sunday, saying Soong and his delegation will visit Beijing May 6-9.

Soong and his delegation are being invited by Peking University Press to the China launch of a book he wrote in 1978 titled “How to Write Academic Dissertations.”

Soong, 72, has visited China many times since 2005. He is the founder of the PFP, part of the pan blue coalition of parties that includes the ruling Kuomintang (KMT).

Soong was the first and only elected head of the Taiwan Provincial government from 1994 to 1998, when the post was scrapped. He made unsuccessful bids for the presidency in 2000 and 2012 and ran for vice president alongside the KMT's Lien Chan (連戰) in 2004.

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