MAC foresees regular contact with counterpart
CNABALI, Indonesia -- “Regular visits” and “an established mechanism for communications” between Taiwan's Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and its Chinese counterpart can be expected, MAC chief Wang Yu-chi said yesterday.
October 8, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
Taiwan is not ready, however, to engage the Chinese in a political dialogue aimed at unification between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Wang said.
Wang's comments came a day after he and Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, met Sunday for the first time when they sat in on talks between former Taiwan Vice President Vincent Siew and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Bali, Indonesia.
During the meeting, Xi was quoted as saying that political differences between China and Taiwan should not be left to the next generation, a remark interpreted by some media as putting pressure on Taiwan for eventual unification.
Asked about Xi's remark, Wang said that each side laid out their positions and goals during the Sunday meeting. “We are keeping to our own schedule” on this particular issue, he said.
The government has to respect the people's opinion, he said, adding that “it is a bit too early to talk about this based on the prevalent opinion in Taiwan at the moment.”
But there are likely to be regular visits and an established mechanism for communication between the MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office, Wang said.
Asked whether these would lead to a hotline across the Taiwan Strait, Wang said the two government departments dealing with each other directly through the established mechanism to avoid misunderstandings would amount to a hotline in practical terms.
Because the Chinese government does not recognize Taiwan's government, the MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office have not had direct contact to date and must do business through such “intermediaries” as Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.