21 August 2017
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  • » 07/18/2005, 00.00

    CHINA – TAIWAN

    Hu Jintao congratulates Ma Ying-jeou, KMT's new leader



    Chinese President Hu Jintao's congratulations arrive a day after the election, one day too late according to Taiwan media.

    Taipei (AsiaNews/SCMP) – Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday congratulated Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou on his election as chairman of the Kuomintang or Nationalist Party. Mr Ma, 55, got 72.4 per cent of the vote, defeating his 64-year-old opponent Wang Jin-pyng, the current Speaker of Legislative Yuan.

    Mr Hu, who is also chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), said that he was looking forward to work with the KMT to promote cross-strait ties.

    "I sincerely hope that our two parties (KMT and CCP) can work together to continue to promote the peaceful and steady development of cross-strait relations, and make efforts for the bright future of the Chinese nation," he said.

    Taiwanese media said Mr Hu's statement came a day late and speculated that this reflected the mainland's doubts about Mr Ma, a candidate it did not favour.

    But KMT spokesman Chang Yung-kung dismissed this suggestion, saying even if the mainland had had doubts about Mr Ma's cross-strait policy, the congratulatory message meant Beijing no longer believed it mattered.

    Mr Ma formally becomes chairman when Lien Chan steps down next month.

    He said he would be busy building on Mr Lien's peace initiative with Beijing, which resulted from his landmark visit to the mainland on April 29, a first for a KMT leader in mainland China.

    For many political analysts, Lien's trip was an attempt to weaken the Democratic Progressive Party of current Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian. It was also an attempt to turn the Taiwan issue into a domestic one, to be handled by political parties rather by governments.

    Mr Ma said that he did not exclude making a formal visit to the People's Republic of China.

    He also said that he would do his utmost to seek Mr Wang's cooperation, whom the called an "outstanding statesman who cared about the party".

    "I will extend my utmost sincerity to settle the so-called 'Wang-Ma grudges' and to win his co-operation to run the party," he stressed.

    For his part, Mr Wang, already feeling wronged by vote-buying allegations levelled by Mr Ma's camp, embarrassed the mayor by ignoring him.

    "I will follow the footsteps of [outgoing] KMT chairman Lien Chan to serve as a lifetime volunteer worker for the party," Mr Wang said.

    Reconciliation between Mr Ma and Mr Wang, who has strong links with political factions across the island, is a must if the KMT chairman-elect hopes to keep the party intact ahead of the 2008 presidential elections.

    Without the support of Mr Wang's wing of the party, Mr Ma might lose the support of the so-called pan-Blue camp, which includes two other smaller, pro-unification parties—the People First Party and New Party—which backed Mr Wang.

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    See also

    03/05/2007 TAIWAN
    Ma Ying-jeou chosen KMT candidate in 2008 presidential elections
    Despite corruption charges and internal party rivalries, the KMT leadership chooses Taipei’s former mayor as its sole candidate against the Democratic Progressive Party led by independence-leaning Chen Shui-bian.

    19/05/2008 TAIWAN – CHINA
    New sign of easing tensions, KMT chairman to visit mainland
    The visit is the first by a ruling party chief from the island. Wu Boxiong will go to Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai. For mainland visit marks improving bilateral relations.

    27/07/2009 CHINA – TAIWAN
    Hu Jintao congratulates Ma Ying-jeou on his election as KMT chief
    This is first time leaders from the two sides engage in a friendly exchange. Both sides are on the same side in terms of mutually beneficial economic development.

    26/04/2007 TAIWAN – CHINA
    Kuomintang can win the elections only with the support of Chinese Communists
    The head of the Taiwan Research Centre at the Beijing United University claims that close ties between China’s old nationalists on Taiwan and their historical enemies on the mainland can be the winning card in the 2008 presidential elections.

    05/10/2011 TAIWAN – CHINA – JAPAN
    2012 elections: DPP candidate Tsai on Taiwan’s future
    The opposition leader challenges outgoing President Ma’s pro-Beijing stance. For her, any dialogue with the mainland requires respect for the island’s democracy. Visiting Japan, she supports a three-way deal between Taipei, Tokyo and Washington.



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    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”



    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


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