Beijing urges closer Taiwan ties

 

Beijing urges closer Taiwan ties
 

Chinese President Hu Jintao (far left) and honourary KMT head Lien Chan (far right)

President Hu (l) met honorary KMT head Lien Chan (r) at the forum

Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for closer economic and cultural exchanges between China and Taiwan.

Mr Hu was speaking at a China-Taiwan forum in Beijing, aimed at improving ties between the two rival neighbours.

More than 30 MPs from Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), are taking part in the two-day event.

It comes just days after Taiwan, seen by China as part of its territory, rejected Beijing’s plan for the Olympic torch to pass through the island.

President Hu told some 500 participants at the forum that China’s economic growth offered more opportunities for better exchanges between China and Taiwan, China’s official Xinhua news agency said.

Mr Hu said this would benefit both sides and help "curb Taiwan secessionist activities and maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait".

A large group of Taiwan’s business leaders is also taking part in the forum.

The gathering is the third of its kind since a visit to China by former KMT head Lien Chan in 2005.

He was the first party chairman to return to the mainland since the KMT fled to Taiwan after losing the Chinese civil war more than 50 years ago.

Olympic row

But the meeting is being overshadowed by the row whether the Olympic torch should travel through Taiwan before arriving in China for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

map

On Thursday, Taiwan’s authorities rejected China’s plans for the torch to pass through the island as part of a domestic – rather than international – route.

China wants the torch to go from Taiwan to Hong Kong on its way to Beijing.

But Taipei said the plan was unacceptable and compromised the island’s sovereignty.

In response, China expressed its surprise over Taipei’s rejection of the plan.

The executive vice-president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Jiang Xiaoyu, said Taiwan’s decision "breached the principle of separating sport from politics as enshrined in the Olympic charter".

Taiwan and China have been ruled by separate governments since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

The authorities in Beijing regard Taiwan as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the rest of China – by force if necessary.

For the Olympics, the island is referred to as Chinese Taipei.

Planned Olympic Torch Relay - East Asia leg

SEE ALSO
China and Taiwan in Olympics row
27 Apr 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Beijing smog worries IOC bosses
19 Apr 07 |  Other Sport…
Beijing Olympics tickets on sale
15 Apr 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Beijing building the Olympic dream
20 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Taiwan flashpoint
11 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS

Quote

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Beijing urges closer Taiwan ties

Advertisements
This entry was posted in News and politics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s