The chairwoman of Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party Hung Hsiu-chu arrived in Nanjing on Sunday evening for a three-day visit to the People’s Republic of China.
Leading her first delegation to the mainland since assuming leadership of the KMT in March, Hung will spend one day in the historic former capital before party-to-party talks with President Xi Jinping commence in Beijing.
Hung met Jiangsu Province’s Communist Party secretary today before paying homage at the mausoleum of KMT founder Sun Yat-sen, days ahead of the Chinese Founding Father’s 150th birthday.
Speaking to Chinese journalists at the site, Hung said she hoped that her trip would yield “stability and peace” in cross-Strait relations and improve ties strained since the election of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Tsai Ing-wen in February this year.
Group tours to Taiwan, operated by state-owned agencies in China, have plummeted since the landslide victory by Tsai’s traditionally pro-independence DPP.
In what one DPP lawmaker has called a “divide-and-conquer strategy,” Beijing has offered to again boost tourism to cities on the democratic, self-governing island—but only to municipalities controlled by the pro-unification KMT.
Hung previously stood as the KMT presidential candidate against Tsai before she was replaced by incumbent KMT leader Eric Chu due to her poor poll performance. Following his electoral defeat, Chu resigned the party chairmanship and was succeeded by Hung.
By Ryan Kilpatrick