Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Xi-Chu Summit

* Expectedly, Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu will hold a summit meeting with Xi Jinping, Secretary-General of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on May 4 in Beijing.

* The meeting between the heads of the ruling parties on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will take place just one day after the CPC-KMT Forum in Shanghai, during which Chu will participate as head of the KMT delegation.

* First began in 2005, Chu is following the precedent set by his predecessors--Lien Chan and Wu Poh-hsiung--in attending the inter-party forum. The annual forum has been an important platform between the two ruling parties. However, it has been subject to criticism recently by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for "monopolizing cross-Strait exchanges and subordinating cross-Strait relations to CPC-KMT ties."

* Since declining to run as a presidential candidate in the January 2016 contest, Chu now has more "latitude" to interact with the CPC without being labeled as "too close to Beijing" at home. The outcome of the upcoming Xi-Chu summit could have a direct impact on KMT's political fortune in the 2016 presidential and legislative races. In other words, it will be more than just a photo opportunity for Xi and Chu and the substance of the summit does matter.

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