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May 26, 2017

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MAC chief vows to uphold ROC's position during his visit to China

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 陸委會) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) pledged yesterday to stand firm on the government's position on cross-Taiwan Strait relations during his planned historic visit to China.

The government's principal policy toward China remains unchanged — maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, no use of force" based on the Republic of China Constitution — Wang said while attending a legislative hearing on the Taiwan-China service trade agreement.

Wang is expected to travel to China after mid-February to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), head of Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office (國台辦).

It will be Wang's first visit to China in his official capacity and the first formal meeting between the two officials tasked with handling ties across the strait.

Seeking to keep Wang on a tight leash during the trip, legislators reached a cross-party consensus last week to forbid Wang from embarking on any negotiations, signing any papers or issuing any news releases or statements on such political issues as "one China," the "one China framework," "one country, two regions," "military confidence-building mechanism," "peace agreement" or "political relations arrangement in stages."

The legislators also require that Wang should not accept or echo claims that put the nation's sovereignty at risk, such as the "one China framework," or "opposition to Taiwan independence."

Wang said he respects the Legislature's decision and stressed that he has no plans to engage in any of the topics mentioned by the lawmakers.

He also expressed disapproval of a proposal that Taiwan should follow the example of the United States and establish a panel under the Legislature to give legislators access to cross-strait trade negotiations beforehand.

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