Hung Hsiu-chu (???), chairwoman of Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT), said Wednesday the bridge her party has built with the Communist Party of China (CPC) for exchanges between the two sides of Taiwan Strait is too important to be cut off.
Hung stressed the importance of the bridge while answering questions from the media after attending a meeting in Beijing with Taiwanese business people operating in China and Taiwanese students studying there.
Asked if her visit to China has helped "melt the ice" between the two sides, Hung did not give a straight answer but said she felt good about the trip, particularly when seeing so many young people over the past two days, whom she described as "our future hope."
"They are not just the hope of Taiwan but also the future hope of the two sides," she said.
Some Taiwanese business people have described the bridge built by the KMT and CPC as a form of reassurance at a time when cross-strait interactions have stalled, and Hung said it was something the KMT had to make every effort to pursue.
She said there are many Taiwanese business people who have worked hard in China for 20 to 30 years and many young Taiwanese studying there, and their employment and study issues are something the KMT feels it should care about.
"How can the (KMT-CPC) bridge be cut off?" Hung said.
To the Taiwanese business people and students on the mainland, the KMT feels it has an obligation to help them resolve their problems amid the suspension of cross-strait interactions, she said.
Hung is on a five-day trip to China, during which she attended a high-profile meeting in Beijing with CPC Secretary General and Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) on Nov. 1 and participated in panel discussions on economic and youth issues at the Cross-strait Peace Development Forum on Wednesday.
The two-day forum, held annually since 2006, was formerly called the Cross-Strait Trade, Economy and Culture Forum.
Cross-strait interaction has stalled since Tsai Ing-wen (???) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office as president of Taiwan in May.
Her reluctance to accept the "1992 consensus," which China sees as a political basis for exchanges, prompted Beijing to suspend official dialogue across the strait.
The "1992 consensus" as perceived by the previous Ma Ying-jeou (???) administration refers to a tacit understanding between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret its meaning.
Hung is scheduled to return Taiwan on Nov. 3.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel