Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 17:16 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 17:16 | SYDNEY

Cross-strait calming


Malcolm Cook

15 April 2008 12:42

The most important meeting last weekend at the Boao Forum for Asia barely got a mention in the Australian media, though it did receive praise in the American, British, Chinese and pro-KMT Taiwan press. It was not the meeting between PM Rudd and Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, or PM Rudd’s meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao. Rather, it was the meeting between president Hu and Taiwan vice-president-elect Vincent Siew. This is the highest level cross-strait contact since the KMT fled mainland China in the late 1940s. This historic meeting was made possible by what President Hu calls 'the new situation' (the KMT’s triumph in the March 22 presidential elections in Taiwan). It also seems to have delivered some concrete results with cross-strait dialogue to commence next month on direct charter flights and tourism.  President-elect Ma Ying-jeou ran a successful campaign calling for a common cross-strait market and this first meeting, less than a month after Ma-Siew’s landslide win, is certainly a promising first step.