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China congratulates new leader of Taiwan nationalists

Sun 27, March 2016 Kategori Asia-Europe

China’s president has congratulated a Taiwanese lawmaker considered pro-China on her election as leader of the territory’s nationalist party following its defeat in the last elections.

The state-run China Daily reported Sunday that China’s Xi Jinping expressed hope in his message to Hung Hsiu-chu that the two parties would maintain "the overall national interest”.

The general elections in January saw Taiwan’s former opposition party -- which has traditionally taken a pro-independence stance in its relations with Beijing -- win the presidency and secure its first ever majority in the legislature of the island.

Since Chinese nationalist leaders fled to Taiwan in 1949 after a brutal civil war with Mao Zedong's Communists, China has seen the region as a breakaway province that will eventually return.

Hung, a former deputy legislative speaker, became the first female to lead the Kuomintang following her election Saturday, after her predecessor Eric Chu resigned from the position to take responsibility for the party's poor election performance.

Hung -- considered to be among Kuomintang members supporting closer ties with Beijing -- expressed her gratitude that "the hearts of party members have stayed together”.

"With one heart, we can unite and the party will have a tomorrow and hope," Taiwan’s official Central News Agency quoted her saying.

She stressed her appreciation for the opportunity to "stoop to pick up the first brick to rebuild the homeland in ruins".

While the Kuomintang had controlled six major municipalities before the 2014 local elections, that number has since dropped to one.

Hung underlined that the current state of communications between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China should be maintained, but told party members that she did not intend on visiting China.

In his congratulation message Saturday, China’s Xi also expressed hope that the 1992 Consensus would be upheld and "Taiwan independence" opposed.

The 1992 Consensus was reached following talks that year between the two sides, although it -- and the "one China" principle it entails -- is not recognized by some parties and figures in Taiwan.

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Son Guncelleme: Sun 27, March 2016
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