Ma, Lien staffers offer contradictory claims
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A top aide of former Vice President Lien Chan said yesterday that President Ma Ying-jeou didn't ask Lien to carry out any special duties during his recent trip to China, but Lien, in pre-departure meetings with Ma, did mention the four principles that he eventually revealed during his meeting in Beijing with Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.
March 1, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Ting Yuan-chao, director of Lien's office, made the remarks one day after the former vice president, who doubles as Kuomintang's honorary chairman, returned to Taiwan after completing a four-day visit to Beijing.
Lien led a large delegation of political, business, and religious representatives to Beijing in a private capacity, visiting both Communist Party leader Xi Jinping and China's President Hu Jintao and other key figures.
After meeting with Xi on Monday, Lien issued a press release affirming his commitment to the four principles, which are: a one-China framework, cross-strait peace, mutually beneficial integration and the revitalization of Greater China.
Many wondered if Taiwan's Presidential Office shared the same ideas.
Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li said that Ma was not informed about Lien's four principles before the former vice president left for the mainland.
Mainland Affairs Council chief Wang Yu-chi told reporters that Lien's visit to China was private in nature, downplaying Lien's prediction that political dialogue between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would become unavoidable in the future.
In response, Ting said that when Ma visited Lien on the first day of the Lunar New Year, prior to the former vice president's departure to Beijing, the two had talked about the context of the trip, the current state of cross-strait relations, as well as the key points of the former vice president's planned talks with Xi.
Lien told Ma that Taiwan should not avoid any ensuing political issues with China and that the government should move to tackle the issues in a proper way, Ting said, adding that Ma had responded by saying although there is no need to avoid political issues, some matters are not easily solved.
Ma was informed that Lien would convey the one-China concept during the Beijing visit, Ting said, adding Ma had told Lien that both the National Unification Guidelines and the Statute Governing Relations Across the Taiwan Straits advocated the one-China concept.
In Beijing, Lien told Chinese leaders that both Taiwan and mainland China fall within the territory of “one China,” adding that he hoped both sides of the Strait would become one in the future, according to Ting.
Ting said that Lien's remarks didn't run counter to the Constitution and related regulations; therefore, government spokespeople shouldn't recklessly criticize Lien's remarks.