China likely to tone down rhetoric in Lien-Xi meeting: scholars

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Cross-strait studies expert Chao Chun-shan said what remains to be seen is what message Xi seeks to send during the Lien-Xi meeting.

Taipei, July 12 (CNA)-Chinese President Xi Jinping will likely use his upcoming meeting with former Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to damp down cross-strait tensions as a signal to the United States, scholars said Thursday.

The objective will be to prevent U.S. President Donald Trump from using the “Taiwan Card” as negotiating leverage against China amid ongoing trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies, Taiwan Thinktank researcher Tung Li-wen (董立文) said.

Chao Chun-shan (趙春山), a professor of China Studies at Tamkang University, said what remains to be seen is what message Xi seeks to send during the Lien-Xi meeting. Although his rhetoric on Taiwan will still likely revolve around the “1992 consensus” or “the one-China policy”, it is highly possible that he will also try and send another message through Lien calling for the improvement of cross-strait ties and to boost development between Taiwan and China, Chao said.

According to Lien’s office, the former KMT chairman will meet with Xi on Friday and will also deliver a speech at a forum jointly hosted by a cross-strait peace foundation affiliated with his office and a research center that studies cross-strait relations.

Lien hopes his visit will help improve cross-strait relations and boost development in Taiwan and China for the safety, dignity and wellbeing of Taiwanese people, amid the current instability in relations, according to his office.

The office said Lien, who also served as Taiwan’s vice president from 1996-2000, hopes the visit will help improve cross-strait ties and foster development in Taiwan and China.