Lien Chan arrives in Beijing for visit

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2008, 12:00am

Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang in Taiwan, arrived in Beijing yesterday for a nine-day visit, during which he will meet President Hu Jintao .

Mr Lien, who made history in 2005 with an unprecedented trip to the mainland for reconciliation between the KMT and the Communist Party, played down his visit.

'It is just a private visit,' Mr Lien said, adding that he would attend a ceremony today in Beijing's Olympic Park to unveil a replica of a sculpture symbolic of cross-strait peace created by the late Taiwanese artist Yuyu Yang. Mr Lien gave the sculpture to Mr Hu as a gift during a second visit to the mainland in 2006.

Accompanied by his wife, Lien Fang Yu, and Taiwanese business tycoons Jeffrey Koo and Yen Kai-tai, Mr Lien arrived in the capital in the afternoon and was greeted by Taiwan Affairs Office director Chen Yunlin , Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait vice-president Li Bingcai and other mainland officials.

Mr Lien visited the new terminal at Beijing airport and was received by Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference chairman Jia Qinglin at a dinner party last night.

Meanwhile, a planned meeting between Chiang Pin-kung, incoming head of the Straits Exchange Foundation, and Mr Chen in Beijing on May 25 had been postponed Mr Chiang said yesterday.