Chinese President Hu Jintao expects ties with Taiwan to remain the same despite an imminent, once-in-a-decade leadership change in Beijing, a top Taiwanese politician said on Wednesday.
Taiwan’s former vice president, Lien Chan, made the comments after meeting Hu at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Vladivostok last week.
“I had a rather lengthy discussion with Hu and he told me that even though China is entering a stage of personnel reshuffle for the government, the cross-strait policy will remain the same,” Lien said.
“The continuity of the cross-strait relationship is to be maintained in the future,” he told a press conference after returning to Taipei.
They did not talk about Hu’s presumed successor and Vice Chinese President Xi Jinping, Lien said. Xi has disappeared from public view in recent days, fuelling speculation about what has caused his absence.
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou, who took office in 2008 on a Beijing-friendly platform, said earlier this year that he did not expect any major change in ties under China’s new leadership.
Taiwan has governed itself since the end of a civil war in 1949 but China still claims sovereignty and has threatened to invade should the island declare formal independence.
However, tensions have eased markedly during Ma’s first term with policies promoting trade and tourism with China. He was re-elected in January for a second and final four-year term.