Taipei fears outcome of Lien Chan talks with Hu

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 April, 2006, 12:00am

Island's vice-president slams KMT and fears meeting could develop into a crisis

An upcoming meeting between Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the main opposition Kuomintang, and President Hu Jintao has unnerved Taiwanese authorities.

Describing it as a possible crisis for the island, Taiwanese Vice-President Annette Lu Hsiu-lien expressed concern yesterday over the meeting, expected to be held in Beijing next Sunday.

'This will be the second time Lien Chan has talked with Hu. After their talks next week, Hu will meet George W. Bush. We can't help but worry that something might happen which could be a crisis for Taiwan,' Ms Lu told a seminar.

She said Beijing had over the years employed six tactics to deal with Taiwan - military, economic, diplomatic, opinion, psychological and legal warfare.

Ms Lu said it would be unthinkable for the opposition to continue appeasing Beijing and even joining forces with it to squeeze the island. She said that if the opposition really cared for the interests of Taiwan, it should tell Beijing there were 'two Chinas'.

Mr Lien was made honorary chairman of the KMT after returning from a historic visit from the mainland last April and retiring as KMT leader late last year.

On Thursday he will lead a 170-strong delegation to the mainland, including 50 business leaders and 29 legislators, and he is scheduled to meet Mr Hu on Sunday at the end of a high-level economic forum between the KMT and its once long-time rival, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

This will be his second meeting with Mr Hu after last April's talks, during which the two reached a consensus on ways to improve cross-strait ties. Their first meeting was seen by Taipei as an attempt to woo Taiwanese people after the mainland's enactment of the Anti-Secession Law last March that gives the PLA the power to attack Taiwan if it moves towards formal independence.

Both the government and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party have heaped scorn on the KMT-CCP talks, saying they are not in the overall interests of the island and will reduce Taiwan's vigilance against an attack by the mainland.

DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday called on the KMT to first hold a meeting with the DPP.

'The opposition KMT deliberately chooses to hold talks with the CPP without bothering to communicate with the ruling party. This will only lead others to think the KMT is helping China to remove the government status of Taiwan,' he told a gathering in Chiayi, southern Taiwan.

Mr Yu said the KMT should reach a consensus with the governing authorities before holding talks with the Communist Party.



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