Taiwan and Chinese ministers use official titles in historic first
CNABALI, Indonesia -- Cross-strait relations scored a new breakthrough yesterday when Taiwan and China chief officials addressed each other by their official titles in an unprecedented meeting that took place on the sidelines of an international forum.
October 7, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Wang Yu-chi, minister of Taiwan's Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), and Zhang Zhijun, minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) under China's State Council, spoke briefly in the lobby of Hotel Laguna in Bali, Indonesia, where the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is ongoing. is being held.
In the groundbreaking meeting, both Wang and Zhang called for the establishment of a regular dialogue mechanism between their two agencies to enhance mutual understanding and facilitate cross-strait engagement.
Zhang invited Wang to visit China, adding that he would be more than pleased to visit Taiwan “if given a chance.”
“As those responsible for cross-strait relations, we should increase interaction to boost mutual understanding and promote bilateral ties,” Zhang said, noting that some 8 million people traveled between Taiwan and China last year alone.
When people on both sides of the strait are visiting each other so frequently, “it does not seem right” if the two top officials in charge of cross-strait affairs do not see each other, Zhang said.
“It would be fruitful for us to keep up with that popular trend,” he added.
Wang echoed the sentiment, noting that Taiwanese lawmakers' delays in approving a cross-strait service trade pact indicate that there are many outstanding bilateral issues that need to be addressed.
“This fact highlights the need for both sides to enhance interaction,” Wang said.
Zhang responded by promoting the benefits of that trade pact and expressing expectations that it will be passed soon.