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September 23, 2017

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MAC rejects rumors of give-and-take with mainland counterpart

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) yesterday denied that concessions had been made in exchange for the planned meeting between himself and his mainland Chinese counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍).

The minister made the comments after an interpellation session at the Legislative Yuan.

There was never an issue of give-and-take, Wang said, adding that the purpose of the meeting is to increase mutual understanding between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

When asked if the issue of President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping meeting one another will be discussed during his meeting with Zhang, the minister said that the MAC has not made plans to include the topic in the list of issues to be discussed.

Wang also said that the MAC and the TAO are still in the process of discussing when and where to hold the meeting between himself and Zhang.

The minister added that once the date, location and issues to be discussed have been agreed upon, the government will make a public announcement.

Rumors have emerged claiming that the TAO consented to the meeting in exchange for the passage of the cross-strait trade in services pact and the cross-strait trade in goods pact in Taiwan.

In response, Wang said that no such concessions were made, and that he was not aware that such rumors existed.

In order for a meeting of cross-strait leaders to take place, issues such as appropriate timing, appropriate location and question of titles have to be taken into consideration, the minister explained, adding that presently APEC appears to be the most suitable occasion.

The mainland Chinese have had different opinions on this matter in the past, but there have not been any recent discussions, Wang added.

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