Former Taiwan premier Frank Hsieh concludes five-day mainland tour

Frank Hsieh boosts his credentials by visiting some of the key players in cross-strait affairs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 October, 2012, 3:18am

Former Taiwanese premier Frank Hsieh Chang-ting will today wrap up a five-day mainland visit that included meetings with State Councillor Dai Bingguo and other senior officials.

As the highest-ranking politician from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party to visit the mainland, Hsieh met Dai - the most prominent mainland official he has met so far - in Beijing yesterday.

Hsieh's visit has not only raised his personal political connections with senior mainland officials, but has also enabled him able to take the lead in cross-strait issues within Taiwan's pro-independence camp.

Although Hsieh failed to secure a meeting with the chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Jia Qinglin , who ranks fourth in seniority in the Communist Party, the meeting with Dai, who holds a prominent position in terms of cross-strait and other foreign affairs, can still be seen a victory for Hsieh.

Last night, Hsieh also met Chen Yunlin, Beijing's top negotiator with Taiwan. The two reportedly exchanged views on issues concerning breakthroughs in cross-strait ties.

Relations between Taiwan and the mainland have improved since President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang took office in 2008 and adopted a policy of engaging Beijing.

On Saturday in Beijing, Hsieh met Wang Yi , director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the mainland's State Council.

In his meeting with Wang, Hsieh said there was no so-called 1992 consensus - a tacit agreement reached by the two sides in 1992 in Hong Kong that allowed both sides to temporarily shelve thorny political issues in order to continue talks.

It was also an understanding that there is only "one China", but that each side would have its own interpretation of what constituted "China".

"I told him the DPP believes that such a consensus never existed," Hsieh told reporters in Beijing yesterday after an international bartenders competition, whose organiser had invited him during his mainland visit.

Hsieh said he told Wang that it would be better to use the "constitutional consensus" that he had long proposed to replace the 1992 consensus.