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Chinese scholar welcomes visit plan by DPP's Hsieh

TAIPEI--A plan by Frank Hsieh, an influential member of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to visit China in October has been welcomed by a Shanghai-based Chinese scholar of international studies, who suggests that Beijing should also extend a welcome to the Taiwanese politician.

Both the Communist Party of China and the DPP, which advocates Taiwan independence, should try to create opportunities for future interaction, Shen Dingli, deputy president of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, told CNA in Shanghai. “There should be a period of transition from no contact to contact,” he said.

Hsieh, who served as premier during the 2000-2008 administration of former President Chen Shui-bian, said a day earlier that he had accepted an invitation from the International Bartenders Association to visit Beijing next month to watch a world bartending competition.

He told the association that he will make the trip if all the required procedures can be completed without any glitches.

Shen said it is crucial for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to maintain the current status quo.

As long as political issues are put aside, he said, people with different political stances can still make friends with each other.

“I'm willing to make friends with Hsieh, even though I do not agree with many of his ideas,” he said.

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