Chen Zhengyu and William Hetherington/Reporter and Contributor
Yesterday, a memorial service was held for the late Taiwan independence advocate and senior adviser to the president, Koo Kuan-min, to commemorate Kuan-min’s efforts to normalize Taiwan’s international status.
Koo died on February 27 at the age of 97.
Koo is most concerned about Taiwan’s relationship with China, said his son Koo, chief economist at Japan’s Nomura Research Institute.
Image: Taipei Times Fang Pinchao
Gu Guangming believes that Taiwan can develop into a normal country only if it coexists peacefully with China.
Richard Koo said at the memorial service that what his family remembers most about his father is his business achievements.
“My dad had failed in the past, and he was 68 when he finally managed to start a business,” he said.
When Gu Guangming returned from Japan 35 years ago, his friend Yang Zongzhe told him that success in business matters in Taiwan, says Richard Koo.
“He traveled to several Pacific island countries in the process of starting his fishing business,” he said.
Gu Guangming believes that it is not difficult for Taiwan to declare independence, but what is more difficult is to establish a framework for peaceful coexistence and shared interests between Taiwan and China.
Gu Guangming said that as long as the right conditions are met, Taiwan and China can establish a close relationship.
“Before he was hospitalized, my father used to call me in Tokyo to talk about how he shared his views on cross-strait relations with Chinese leaders,” he said. “I believe my father is watching us from heaven, and it is good to see us continue to work hard for Taiwan.”
Vice President Lai Qingde also spoke at the memorial service, citing Gu Guangming’s “fraternal association”, saying that Taiwan and China can coexist as allies and prosper together on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
The Pacific Ocean is “big enough to accommodate US-China competition, and the Taiwan Strait is big enough for Taiwan and China to live and develop together,” he said.
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