BEIJING, April 19 -- Taiwan's main opposition leader
Lien Chan is expected to embark on a historic visit to China on April 26 and
meet Chinese President Hu Jintao, the mass circulation China Times newspaper
said on Tuesday.
Lien's Nationalist Party, also known as the Kuomintang
(KMT), said details of Lien's trip would be finalised after its
secretary-general Lin Feng-cheng returns from Beijing later on Tuesday.
|Jia Qinglin (right), Standing Committee
member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, meets Chiang
Pin-kun, Kuomintang vice-chairman and leader of the 34-member delegation
from Taiwan, March 31 in Beijing. [newsphoto]
The China Times quoted sources as saying Lien's
eight-day visit would take him to Nanjing, Shanghai, Xian and Beijing before
returning on May 3.
The KMT once ruled all of China before losing a civil
war to Mao Zedong's Communists in 1949 and fleeing to Taiwan, where they ruled
for more than 50 years.
|Lien Chan [file
They lost two successive presidential elections to present
leader Chen Shui-bian in 2000 and 2004.
Chen has expressed concern about the flurry of
exchanges between opposition parties and the Chinese Mainland, urging
delegations to consult the local government before going.
On Monday, China's official Xinhua news agency said
Hu had invited James Soong, the head of the smaller People First Party (PFP), to
the Chinese Mainland -- an offer Soong immediately accepted.
The KMT and PFP both favour eventual reunification,
while Chen's Democratic Progressive Party supports a pro-independence platform.
In Nanjing, Lien is expected to pay respects at the
tomb of Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary who founded the KMT 110 years ago and
served as China's president from 1923 until his death in 1925, the China Times
Lien is scheduled to go to Shanghai to meet Taiwan
businesspeople, visit his birthplace Xi'an, and hold a meeting with Hu in
Beijing, possibly between April 29 and May 1, it said.
In March, the KMT sent vice-chairman Chiang Pin-kung
to the mainland in the party's first official trip to the Chinese Mainland in 56
China rolled out the red carpet for Chiang, offering
(Source: China Daily/Agencies)