The chairman of the KMT (the current opposition party in Taiwain’s government), Lien Chan, visits mainland China for a week today, marking it the first time a member of the KMT has visisted the mainland since the seperation of Chang Kai-Shek’s KMT to Taiwan in 1949. Understandably, demonstrators at Taiwan’s Kai-Shek airport were hurling insults of traitor and sell out to Chan as he left for the mainland. This is a very interesting twist indeed to the Taiwan Strait issue and I’m not certain of what the implications from this move are.
Historicaly (I’m sure I’m going to get some stuff wrong here, so comment any corrections), the KMT was the original political party that fled to Taiwan after being chased out by the communists in the 1949. They are now the opposition party to the Democratic Progressive Party, who currently hold power after some fifty years of KMT rule. While the KMT were the ones forced out of China, they now lean towards unification or some sort of appeasment while the DPP supports status quo or independence.
Of course, anything to ease the tensions between the two nations is a Good Thing, especially in light of China’s Anti-Sessation Law, which authorizes military force to maintain One China. However, this eaisly could be seen as a backhanded move by the KMT to gain the favor of the PRC’s government. Current seniment in Taiwan, apparently, favors status quo over independence over unification (in that order). The Washington Post has a good article covering it as well as the English Chinese press on Xinhau, which points out that the delegation is over per the invite of the Chinese President (head of state) Hu Jintao and the Central Committee.