DPP's Lin, Tsai discuss cross-strait exchange ideas
By Queena Yen, The China Post
January 21, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) stated yesterday that the only reason Lin Chuan (林全), CEO of Thinking Taiwan Foundation, visited mainland China was for a professional financial exchange, so it is pointless to over-politicize the visit.
Tsai and Lin held a joint press conference yesterday morning to explain the goals and conditions of the financial exchange trip to China on Dec. 15, as well as to share some insights gained on the visit.
Lin said they visited the National Bureau of Statistic of China (國家統計局) and some private companies, including Lenovo China (聯想集團) and Baidu, the main search engine in mainland China. Members gained a deep understanding of how mainland China faces its challenges and started to consider some possible solutions for the condition in Taiwan. The interaction between both sides were professional and there may be future opportunities to schedule exchanges again, according to Lin.
Tsai pointed out that in the past two years, members of the DPP were always present in various cross-trait exchange events, which showed her idea on cross-trait exchanges.
“A cross-strait exchange should go beyond any ideology and focus on sharing actual professional knowledge from different level and different aspects,” Tsai said. “It should not be only a format of exchanging.”
Tsai also pointed out she had been reported to by Lin about the visit and approved the efforts of the host organization in mainland China, saying that they had prepared detailed and clear information for the delegation.
As for the question of not notifying the public in advance of the visit, Lin said that the original plan was to report after the visit in order to avoid unnecessary disturbances to the host organization. Tsai also emphasized that the foundation kept this visit low-key in the hopes of concentrating on professional issues rather than being over politicized.
Local media have questioned whether the visit was related to the upcoming DPP chairperson election. Tsai responded that it is too early to discuss anything about the election.
Taiwan Affairs Office's Response
Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office (國台辦), said yesterday that Lin's visit was only a non-governmental exchange.
According to authorities, Lin was invited by China's University of International Business and Economics' School (UIBE) of Banking and Finance, and led a delegation to Beijing from Jan. 15 to 19 which consisted of board members, supervisors and policy counselors of the foundation.
Ma pointed out to local media that “to mine understanding, some of Taiwan Financial and Economics experts were invited to exchange some thoughts with UIBE, so it is only a non-governmental event.”