Radio Free Asia reported (September 15) that Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) political party originally planned that Wang Jin-pyng, a former legislator, would lead a delegation to Xiamen of Fujian province to participate in the Straits Forum on September 16. However, Li Hong, a CCTV host of “Across the Strait” commented that Wang Jin-pyng’s visit to the mainland was “to seek reconciliation.” The statement triggered criticism of the Kuomintang in Taiwan. Johnny Chiang, the Kuomintang Chairman demanded an apology from Li Hong. Although Li Hong later responded that she meant that the visit was to seek “peace” not “reconciliation,” [Editor’s note: “和” in Chinese carries multiple meanings including reconciliation, harmony or peace] she was unable to quell all doubts. On September 14, the Kuomintang announced that, for the first time since the Straits Forum started 12 years ago, it would not participate in the “Straits Forum” as a political party; however, each party member could decide for himself whether to participate. In the past 11 years, a Vice-Chairman of the Kuomintang led the delegation and Hung Hsiu-chu, when she was the Chairman, personally led a delegation. This year Johnny Chiang was elected KMT Chairman, but without a Vice-Chairman, so former legislative member Wang Jin-pyng was selected to attend the “Straits Forum.”

(Comment: China has hosted the “Straits Forum” since 2009. In the past, the CPPCC Chairman would attend the opening ceremony.)

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