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March 23, 2012

On Thursday, March 22, honorary KMT Chairman Wu Po-hsiung of Taiwan held a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The annual forum between KMT and CCP officials began in 2005, after then-KMT Chairman Lien Chan’s ground-breaking visit to Beijing. These meetings are seen as crucial to helping both sides develop a political relationship. This year’s meeting was the first since Ma Ying-jeou of the KMT was re-elected as Taiwan’s president in January.

As a key part of his campaign, Ma Ying-jeou promised to improve cross-strait relations; his re-election has been taken as a sign of Taiwanese desire for further ties between Taiwan and the mainland. As a nod to Ma’s contributions, Hu Jintao stated that within the last four years (since Ma was first elected president), cross-strait relations have taken “an historical shift” toward the better. Wu Po-hsiung also affirmed that today cross-strait relations are the warmest they have been in 60 years.

Both Hu and Wu used the meeting to reaffirm their commitment to the “1992 Consensus,” which states that both the mainland and Taiwan will adhere to the “one-China principle.” Wu called this agreement the foundation of mutual trust between the KMT and CCP governments, and reiterated that the KMT opposes any move towards Taiwanese independence. However, Wu acknowledged that Taiwan and mainland China differ somewhat on the interpretation of “one China.” Wu also upheld the uniqueness of being a Taiwanese resident, although he carefully distanced this position from a desire for independence. Wu also urged Beijing to be understanding of Taiwanese efforts to expand its international standing, even while he emphasized that “cross-strait relations are not undertaken on a nation-to-nation basis but rather a special relationship basis.” Wu suggested using the idea of “one country, two areas” as a “legal basis” for Taiwan and mainland China going forward.

For his part, Hu Jintao declared that, although Taiwan and the mainland have not been unified, China’s territory and sovereignty remain intact. Hu highlighted the need to adopt an attitude of responsibility towards the people and towards history in developing the relationship. Hu expressed hopes that Taiwan and the mainland would increase their cultural and economic exchanges and that the two sides would progress “hand in hand like a family.”

Both sides also took care to highlight their shared cultural and historical identities. Wu’s trip to the mainland included a visit to a monument for Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Beijing’s Fragrant Hills. The founder of the KMT, Dr. Sun is a hero in both China and Taiwan. Wu also planned to travel to Henan on Friday, where he will attend a ceremony honoring the legendary emperor Huangdi, another representation of the shared Chinese heritage between Taiwan and the mainland.


For further information on the meeting between Hu Jintao and Wu Po-hsiung, please see the following news sources:

BBC – “China morning round-up: Cross-strait relations

Taipei Times – “‘One country, two areas’ proposed by Wu Po-hsiung

China Daily – “Closer relations welcomed

For Chinese commentary on the meeting between Hu Jintao and Wu Po-hsiung, please see the following news sources:

Global Times (环球网) – “吴伯雄提“一国两区”概念:两岸不是国与国关系

Global Times (环球网) – “胡锦涛:两岸虽未统一但中国领土和主权没有分裂


Edited and compiled by Shannon Reed.