“Greetings, and Nothing Particular to Say”: Lien Chan’s China Visit

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Nanfang Weekly (南方周末), February 25, 2013 —

At nine a.m. on February 25, CCP central committee secretary general Xi Jinping met KMT honorary chairman Lien Chan in the Great Hall of the People. Lien Chan had come to Beijing on February 24 as head of a delegation and is scheduled to return to Taiwan on February 27. The visit’s theme is to enter spring and revisit the past (走春访旧 – apparently a variation of 走春迎新年 – to greet the new year. Another way of putting it might be a nostalgic, yet forward-looking journey). Taiwan regional leader Ma Ying-jeou had asked Lien Chan to greet secretary general Xi Jinping.

2月25日上午9时许,中共中央总书记习近平在北京人民大会堂会见中国国民党荣誉主席连战。连战于24日率团来京,预计27日返台,此行定调为“走春访旧”。台湾地区领导人马英九请连战代为问候习近平总书记。

China News Service, on February 25, quoted Xi Jinping as saying that this was the first time since he took his new office that he met with Taiwanese friends. Xi Jinping said that when he worked in Fujian for many years, he had been in contact with Taiwanese issues almost every day, frequently met Taiwanese compatriots, and made many Taiwanese friends. It had been quite the same when he worked in Zhejiang Province and in Shanghai.

中新网25日消息援引习近平的说法称,这次是他担任新的职务之后,第一次会见台湾朋友。习近平称,他在福建工作多年,现在想起那个时期,他几乎每天都要接触有关台湾的事情,要经常会见台湾同胞,也结交了不少台湾朋友。到浙江、上海工作,差不多也是这样。

Xi Jinping particularly pointed out that “I and Chairman Lien got to know each other in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, when we met in April and in November 2006, and I vividly remember the circumstances and our conversations, and one can say that with this memory on mind, I and Chairman Lien are old friends. Ever since I left Fujian, I have paid attention to the situation in T the Taiwan Strait, hoping for continuously improving cross-strait relations.”

习近平特别提到:“我和连主席相识于浙江杭州,在2006年4月、11月两度会面,当时的会见情景,谈话情况,我现在记忆犹新,可以说当时情景历历在目,我和连主席是老朋友了。我离开福建到现在始终关注着台海局势,期待两岸关系持续改善。”

Xi Jinping also said that the new generation of collective CCP central committee leadership will continue to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, and peaceful unification.

习近平还表示,中国共产党新一届的中共中央领导集体,将继续推动两岸关系和平发展,促进两岸和平统一。

Quoting China News Service (中新网) and CCTV with reports of February 24, Nanfang Weekly mentions some members of Lien’s 30-plus member delegation1), such as KMT vice chairman Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正), John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), think-tank director Tsai Cheng-wen2), Radio Taiwan International  CEO Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭)3) and New Party chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), plus representatives of public opinion (民意代表), business, farming and fishery, culture and education, the press, and religion.

Lien Chan said that this trip’s purpose was to enhance exchange, to exchange views with [people from] all walks of life, to look at the past and to look to the future. Lien Chan said that this was also the first time after the establishment of the new leadership by the 18th National Congress that he talked with mainland China’s leaders face to face, having the opportunity to listen to their views, thoughts and to the things they focused on. He could also exchange views with them about his understanding of the Taiwanese situation.

连战称,此行宗旨为增进彼此交流,与各界交换意见,看看过去,展望未来。连战表示,这也是中共十八大新领导班子成立后,第一次与大陆领导人面对面会谈过程,可以听听彼此的意见、思维与关注的焦点,他也会把他所了解的台湾情况,与对方交换意见。

According to CCTV reports on February 25, Lien Chan met with KMT chairman and Taiwan regional leader Ma Ying-jeou on February 22, ahead of his trip. Local media said that Ma Ying-jeou had nothing special to say [or to account for, 交待], only that he asked Lien Chan to greet secretary general Xi Jinping. A speaker for Ma Ying-jeou’s office said that the key point of the coming three years was to broaden and deepen cross-strait exchanges, and that therefore, Lien Chan’s visit to the mainland, in his private capacity, was viewed with optimism.

据中央电视台25日报道,连战行前在22号下午与中国国民党主席、台湾地区领导人马英九见面。当地媒体称,马英九并没有什么特别交待,只是请连战代为问候习近平总书记。马英九办公室发言人表示,扩大与深化两岸交流,是未来三年的重点工作,因此对连战以民间身份访问大陆乐观其成。

Lien had declined to go into detail about his scheduled meeting with Xi before leaving Taipei on Sunday night, the South China Morning Post‘s (SCMP) Taipei correspondent wrote on Monday.

But the SCMP also quotes Su Chi (蘇起), a former Taiwan National Security Council secretary-general, as saying that the new mainland leadership is expected to touch on more sensitive issues like political dialogues with Taipei.

Lien’s delegation spokeswoman was quoted as saying that Lien would meet outgoing state chairman Hu Jintao on Tuesday (i. e. on February 26).

Lien Chan was accompanied by his wife, Lien Fang Yu, and his son, Sean Lien (连胜文).

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Notes

1) According to the Taipei Times, Lien’s delegation included several business tycoons, such as Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) and Ruentex Group chairman Samuel Yin (尹衍樑).

2) Tsai Cheng-wen is the National Policy Foundation’s (NPF) president. The NPF is a KMT think-tank.

3) At an earlier trip to China, with a Taiwanese delegation to the Baoao Forum on Hainan in 2012, Chang Jung-kung was scheduled to be the delegation’s spokesman.

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Related

» Journey of Peace, SCMP, April 26, 2005
» United Front Doctrine (Democratization in Taiwan, ed. Steve Tsang, Houndmills, New York, 199

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One Comment to ““Greetings, and Nothing Particular to Say”: Lien Chan’s China Visit”

  1. I remember when Lien Chan visited Nanjing when I was teaching there back in 2005 – big splash in the news, my more nationalistic students were talking about how unification couldn’t be far off etc. etc. etc. Since then there’s been precisely zero meaningful movement towards unification for the very simple reason that the Taiwanese are quite happy as they are – and why wouldn’t they be?

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