Xi Jinping greets new Kuomintang leader Eric Chu, calls for reunification with Taiwan

Newly elected chairman of Taiwan's Kuomintang Eric Chu. (Photo Credit - Reuters)
Newly elected chairman of Taiwan's Kuomintang Eric Chu. (Photo Credit - Reuters)

Beijing [China], September 27 (ANI): Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday sent a congratulatory letter to the newly elected chairman of Taiwan's Kuomintang Eric Chu, expressing hopes that the two parties will work together to maintain peace across the Taiwan Straits and strive for national reunification.

Chu replied on Sunday that people on both sides of the Straits are descendants of common ancestry. He hoped the parties will enhance mutual trust, integration and exchanges based on the 1992 Consensus and on opposition to "Taiwan independence", and move forward the peaceful development of relations for the benefit of the people as well as the peace and stability across the Straits, reported China Daily.

The "1992 Consensus" refers to what's described as a confirmation between Kuomintang and China that the two sides belong to one China. Kuomintang was in power at that time.

Xi noted that the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the KMT have interacted positively in the past based on the 1992 Consensus, which endorses the "one-China principle" and opposes "Taiwan independence", promoting the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and benefiting people on both sides of the Straits.

Xi's message is seen as an attempt to draw the Kuomintang closer to China, as Taiwan under the Democratic Progressive Party administration has been deepening ties with Washington.

Chu, who badly lost the 2016 presidential election to current President Tsai Ing-wen blamed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for tensions with Beijing after pursuing anti-China policies.

China refuses to talk to Tsai, calling her a separatist. She says Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, the island's formal name, and that only Taiwan's people have the right to decide their own future.

On Saturday, the Kuomintang (KMT), the main opposition party to the Democratic Progressive Party, elected former chairman Eric Chu as its leader, and Chu pledged to rebuild an exchange platform across the Straits.

Chu, 60, a former mayor of New Taipei City, beat his rivals including KMT incumbent Johnny Chiang and two other contenders with 85,164 votes, or 46 per cent of the ballots.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up military and political pressure to force the democratically ruled island to accept Chinese sovereignty, even though most Taiwanese have shown no interest in being governed by Beijing. (ANI)