Wu Den-yih, chairman of Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party, dropped a bombshell in an interview on Thursday, saying his party could sign a peace treaty with Beijing and negotiate a deal to advance ties with the mainland if the KMT can regain the presidency in 2020.
Wu, who served as Taiwan’s vice president from 2012 to 2016, made the remarks when answering a question about the KMT’s plan to sign a final cross-strait peace treaty.
“Assuming talks between the two sides are successful, a future KMT government would be within its rights to sign a cross-strait peace treaty to formally end the Chinese civil war,” he said.
Wu was referring to the absence of a permanent treaty between Taiwan and the mainland, despite the fact both sides stopped shelling each other’s islands in the Taiwan Strait in 1979.
Wu also reaffirmed the KMT’s endorsement of the one-China consensus it reached with Beijing’s representatives in 1992.
The politician dodged questions about his rumored presidential bid in 2020, saying only that he did not feel certain at present. Party unity, the chances of winning and fundraising were issues that had to be considered before a decision could be made, he said.
Other KMT bigwigs including former New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu and former president of the Legislative Yuan Wang Jin-pyng have all suggested they may seek to be the party’s candidate for 2020.
Former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, of the KMT, is also reportedly thinking of running again. Ma met with his mainland counterpart Xi Jinping in Singapore in 2015.
The KMT will hold a primary in May.
The party crushed the ruling, independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan’s mayoral and magistrate election held in November, winning in 15 cities and counties out of the total 22.