China's Hu invites Taiwan KMT leader to Beijing
( dpa ) - Chinese President Hu Jintao has invited the head of Taiwan's soon-to-be ruling party to visit Beijing, the Taiwanese United Daily News reported Sunday.
Hu wants to meet KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung before May 20 - the inauguration date of KMT's president-elect Ma Ying-jeou - apparently hoping to lay the foundation for future ties after Ma has come to power, the United Daily News said, quoting an unnamed source.
Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun will visit China in late April or early May to prepare for Hu-Wu meeting, the newspaper said.
In an interview with the cable television channel TVBS Saturday, Chiang said Ma has unveiled a series of measure to normalize trade ties with China, including opening sea and air links, letting Chinese tourists visit Taiwan, investment in China and tax exemption for Taiwanese businessmen in China.
"All these issues must be discussed before Ma's inauguration. To discuss them after Ma has been inaugurated will be too late," he said.
Hu will formally meet Wu in his capacity as secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party, as China does not accept Taiwan as a country.
China regards Taiwan, seat of the exiled Chinese Nationalist Government since 1949, as its breakaway province and is wooing Taiwan to reunite with the motherland.
To win over Taiwan's pro-China forces and isolate former pro- independence president Chen Shui-bian, Hu in April 2005 received KMT's then-chairman Lien Chan in Beijing, signed a peace framework and offered two giant pandas to Taiwan.
Hu also received the chairmen of Taiwan's two smaller political parties - James Soong of the People First Party and Yok Mu-ming of the New Party - in Beijing in May 2005 and July 2007.
The KMT ruled Taiwan from 1949 until 2000 when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gained power and Chen became president.
But Ma won the March 22 presidential election on his pledge to open trade with China and revive Taiwan's economy.
He declared Taiwan's future should be decided by the Taiwanese people, but during his four-year term said he will not discuss unification or independence with China so that Taiwan and China can cooperate in trade and economy.