News / Asia

Taiwan Official Visits Sun Yat-sen's Tomb in China

Taiwan Official Visits Sun Yat-Sen's Tomb in Chinai
X
February 12, 2014 3:10 PM
Taiwan's top cross-strait official visited the burial ground of Sun Yat-sen Wednesday, the founder of modern China and a man who is respected in both Taipei and Beijing. During his visit, the Mainland Affairs Council chairman Wang Yu-chi used the opportunity to not only pay respects, but also make mention of Taiwan's democratic accomplishments. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Nanjing.
Taiwan Official Visits Sun Yat-Sen's Tomb in China
Taiwan's top cross-strait official visited the burial ground of Sun Yat-sen Wednesday, the founder of modern China and a man who is respected in both Taipei and Beijing. During his visit, the Mainland Affairs Council chairman, Wang Yu-chi, used the opportunity to not only pay respects, but also make mention of Taiwan's democratic accomplishments.
 
Wang walked up hundreds of steps on a chilly Wednesday morning, to the very top of the Sun Yat-sen mausoleum to lay a wreath and bow in front of his tomb.  Afterwards in brief remarks to reporters he spoke about Sun Yat-sen's founding of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name.

"Our founding father Sun Yat-sen established the first democratic republic in Asia and the Republic of China is already 103 years old," he said. "In the past, we could only pay our respects to Sun Yat-sen in Taipei, but today I've been able to do this here as the head of the Mainland Affairs Council and because of that I feel very happy and deeply touched."

Wang also said he imagined that Sun Yat-sen would be pleased as well, as he looks down on what Taiwan has accomplished in establishing a democratic republic based on his vision.
 
Wang's visit was carried by state media in China, but Chinese media put the focus more squarely on his comments about Tuesday's historic talks in Nanjing.

He said the priority for the future is for the two sides to acknowledge each other and resolve problems with a pragmatic approach, so we can set-up a stable cross-strait relations in the future.  He says this will be of benefit to the people across the Strait and make the Taiwan Strait a strait of peace and cooperation.
 
The burial ground for Sun Yat-sen in Nanjing is one of several sites in the city closely linked to the shared past of China's Communist Party and the party that is now in power in Taiwan, the Nationalists.
 
Not far away from Sun's burial site is the former Presidential Office of Chiang Kai-shek, which is now a museum of modern Chinese history. Chiang's Nationalists lost a civil war with Mao Zedong's Communists in the late 1940s and fled to Taiwan.
 
Political scientist Joseph Cheng said the choice of holding Taiwan and China's first talks in 65 years in Nanjing is full of symbolic meaning for both sides.  He said it is also a good choice for Taipei instead of holding the meetings in Beijng.
 
"The nationalist government first established the capital in Nanjing, so this is much more acceptable from Taipei's point of view, and certainly one can refer to the fond memories of Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Nanjing. Being able to avoid [holding the meeting in] Beijing is a very, very small victory on the part of Taipei," stated Cheng.

During talks Tuesday, the two sides did not reach any formal agreements, but they did acknowledge the fact they could meet as equals was a step forward. Until now, only semi-official representatives from Taiwan and China have been allowed to meet. The two sides say now that they have established a means for more regular communications they can telephone one another at any time.
 
The two stressed, however, that the new government-to-government exchanges will not replace the semi-official organizations on both sides that have served as a bridge for more than two decades.
 
Wang has invited his Chinese counterpart, Zhang Zhijun, the head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, to visit Taiwan in the near future. The date for that visit is still pending.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Joe
February 12, 2014 11:25 PM
Since the Chinese Communist Party is now run by barking mad right-wing nationalists, there's no reason for them not to make a deal with the traditionally barking mad nationalists of the KMT. They could even stage an election for show once they've divided up the spoils.

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
February 12, 2014 10:05 AM
Great move!
One China, Beijing and Taibei!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs