On Behalf of Chairman Lien
Translation by Bevin Chu
April 14, 2011
Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
On March 14, 2005, the Mainland authorities passed the "Anti-Secession Law." On Taiwan, the DPP government lodged a strong protest and held a protest march. Tensions across the Taiwan Strait swiftly increased. The two sides found themselves on the brink of conflict. Then KMT Chairman Lien Chan mustered considerable courage. On April 26, he led a delegation to the Mainland, on an eight-day "Journey of Peace." He and CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao held the first official talks between leaders of the two parties in 60 years. They arrived at a shared vision of cross-Strait peace and development, the "Five Lien/Hu Points of Consensus." The eyes of the world were upon them. The ice in the Taiwan Strait melted. Warming relations promised enormous benefits. Cross-strait relations had turned a new page.
The Five Lien/Hu Points of Consensus encompassed political, economic, and social dimensions. They are:
1. Expedite the resumption of cross-Strait consultations and promote the welfare of people on both sides of the Strait. Both parties agree to resume cross-Strait consultations on the basis of parity and the 1992 Consensus, to address their common and respective concerns, and to promote the healthy development of cross-Strait relations.
2. Expedite the termination of hostilities and reach a peace accord. Both parties agree to expedite the formal cessation of cross-Strait hostilities, reach a peace accord, and establish a framework for peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations, including confidence building mechanisms to avoid cross-Strait military conflict.
3. Promote comprehensive cross-Strait economic exchanges, and establish a mechanism to promote economic cooperation. Both parties agree to promote comprehensive cross-Strait economic cooperation and close economic and trade relations. This includes the establishment of three links, i.e., comprehesive, direct, two-way maritime and air transportation links. legal protections for investments and commercial transactions, agricultural and fishery cooperation, the sale of Taiwan agricultural products on the Mainland, improved communications, and joint crime fighting initiatives. Both parties will establish a stable economic cooperation mechanism, resume cross-Strait consultations, and discuss as a matter of priority the possibility of a cross-Strait common market.
4. Discuss Taiwan's participation in international activities -- a matter of concern for the public on Taiwan. Resume cross-Strait consultations, discuss Taiwan's participation in international activities, including Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization. Both parties will work to create the conditions necessary for the eventual settlement of this issue.
5. Establish a party to party communications platform. Both parties agree to establish regular communications between the two parties, including exchange visits between party personnel at all levels, to conduct seminars to facilitate the understanding of cross-Strait issues, to hold consultations on issues of immediate interest to compatriots on both sides of the Strait, to invite people from all walks of life to attend, and to discuss measures to promote closer cross-Strait exchanges.
In August of the same year, the Kuomintang held its Seventeenth National Congress. The Five Lien/Hu Points of Consensus were officially incorporated into the KMT party platform. They became the key to its attempt to return to power.
Following the Lien/Hu Summit, most opinion polls revealed that the public on Taiwan approved of Lien Chan's Journey of Peace. The public approved of the KMT's Five Lien/Hu Points of Consensus, and viewed it as a solid foundation for cross-Strait dialogue. Beginning with the 2006 municipal elections, through the 2008 legislative elections and presidential election, the KMT won landslide victories. The Five Lien/Hu Points of Consensus became an integral part of President Ma Ying-jeou's campaign platform. It also became an important policy objective after the KMT's return to power.
Following the KMT's return to power in May 2008, cross-Strait relations gradually warmed. The SEF and ARATS resumed consultations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus. Over two short years, they convened six meetings. They signed 15 agreements and a joint statement. They implemented many of the items mentioned in the Five Lien/Hu Points of Consensus. These include the three cross-Strait direct links, opening up Taiwan to tourists from the Mainland, recognizing each others' academic qualifications, allowing Mainland students to study on Taiwan, mutual legal assistance, and cross-Strait cooperation in combating crime. They include the cross-strait economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) signed last year. ECFA was undoubtedly an important milestone in cross-Strait economic cooperation. It will also help improve Taiwan's competitiveness in the global market.
The Journey of Peace persuaded Beijing to demonstrate goodwill in response to Taipei's need for greater international breathing space. From 2008 to the present, in his capacity as former Vice President, Lien Chan attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) three years in a row, on behalf of President Ma Ying-jeou. The Republic of China established a new record for the highest level meeting it ever attended. This was an event of great significance. In 2009, the ROC, under the name of "Chinese Taipei," attended the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer, helping to ensure the medical rights of its citizens. This was one of the biggest international breakthroughs for the Republic of China since its withdrawal from the United Nations in 1971. Cut-throat competition over diplomatic allies was now a thing of the past. This diplomatic truce, accompanied by stability in the Taiwan Strait, was not a situation that magically appeared overnight. The Journey of Peace was an essential first step.
The pubic on Taiwan has enough wisdom not to be led around the nose by ideology. We all yearn for cross-Strait peace, harmony, and cooperation. When Lien Chan took on cross-Strait relations, he demonstrated not merely vision, but moral courage. He made the decision to walk ahead of the people, to establish conditions that would make possible mutual trust and a win-win relationship between people on both sides of the Strait. As we look back six years at the Journey of Peace, Lien Chan's contribution to cross-Strait peace and development and the well-being of the people is clearer than ever.
Lien Chan, 字Yongping, Tainan, Taiwan. Born on August 27, 1936 in Xi'an, on the Chinese Mainland. Currently Honorary Chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party.
Lien Chan obtained a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Taiwan in 1957. He then traveled to the United States for further study. In 1961 he published his thesis on "Land Reform on Taiwan." He received a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago in International Law and Diplomacy. Four years later, he published his thesis, "How the Chinese Communists Denounced Hu Shi." He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. He taught at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Delaware for three years. In 1968, Lien Chan was invited to National Taiwan University, to become a visiting professor of political science. One year later, he was made Chairman of the Political Science Department. He served as Director of the Graduate Institute of Political Science at National Taiwan University until 1974.
Lien Chan served as former Ambassador from the Republic of China to El Salvador, as Secretary of Transportation, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, as Chairman of the Taiwan Provincial Government, as Premier, as the ninth Vice President of the Republic of China, and three terms as Chairman of the KMT.