Taiwan KMT chairman to attend mainland forum

BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Eric Chu, chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) party in Taiwan, will lead a delegation to the upcoming Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum in Shanghai, a mainland official said on Wednesday.

Chu's itinerary will be released as soon as it's available, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office (SCTAO), said while answering questions on whether General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping will meet with Chu.

The mainland will communicate closely with the KMT to arrange activities for Chu's visit, Ma said.

He said he hoped Chu's visit will help maintain the momentum of exchanges between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the KMT and strengthen Party-to-Party and cross-Strait ties.

The 10th Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum is scheduled to be held on May 3. The forum, initiated in 2006, is sponsored by the KMT and CPC.

Officials from the CPC, the KMT and other political parties from the island and involved government agencies will attend.

Delegates from small and medium-sized businesses, young people and representatives of the financial, sci-tech, cultural and educational fields will also take part in the event.

Ma also confirmed that the mainland and Taiwan are in communication on arrangements for a meeting between the two cross-Strait affairs chiefs, SCTAO head Zhang Zhijun and Andrew Hsia, mainland affairs chief in Taiwan.

The two were scheduled to meet on Feb. 7-8 in Kinmen. The meeting was postponed as the two sides focused on the aftermath of the TransAsia Airways crash in Taiwan on Feb. 4, when more than 40 people, including both Taiwanese and mainlanders, were killed.

Ma said regular communication between the SCTAO and Taiwan's mainland affairs committee has been conducive to addressing the common concerns of people from both sides, and meetings between the two chiefs is an integral part of that.

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