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June 24, 2017

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MAC, TAO ministers to meet today

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) embarks on his trip to mainland China to meet the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) today, with the issue of how China will address Wang and the equality of the talks drawing attention and causing heated debate in Taiwan.

Heading to Nanjing and Shanghai for his four-day trip, Wang will meet Zhang mainly to discuss cross-strait relations. Many in Taiwan voiced concern that China may not want to conduct the talks fairly, belittling Taiwan and abusing its dignity.

Wang will be arriving in Nanjing today, heading to The Purple Palace Nanjing to meet Zhang. A MAC press conference will follow the meeting.

The second item on Wang's itinerary is to visit the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum on Feb. 12, followed by a speech at Nanjing University. Wang's choice of words for the press conference and the public speech will undoubtedly be closely scrutinized by people on both sides of the strait, as both events will demonstrate the manner in which the sovereign rights of Taiwan and China were expressed in the meeting.

The MAC minister plans to travel to Shanghai on Feb. 13 to meet think tank researchers, hoping to provide official opinions on Taiwan's current situation for research institutes. He will later head to the Shanghai Media Group to glean a better understanding of Chinese media outlets. After a visit to the Shanghai Taiwanese Children's School, Wang will return to Taiwan on Feb. 14.

No Agreements Slated to Be Signed on Four-day Trip

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) yesterday cautioned Wang not to sign any papers with China during his visit.

Several local media outlets reported that China would be asking Taiwan to sign a "reminder" of the consensuses both sides reached during the Wang-Zhang talks after they ended, something Huang pointed out to be highly possible as "China has always done things like this. It uses terms like 'common press releases,' 'shared opinions' and now 'reminder'— all for the same reason. It wants to bind the other side to points made in the discussions and pave the way for future ones," said Huang.

The Legislative Yuan decided on Jan. 11 that Wang was not to sign any agreements or papers in China, which the MAC reiterated in response to Huang's words, saying that there are no papers slated to be signed on Wang's visit.

The MAC also stated that it is too early to be discussing whether Zhang will pay a visit to Taiwan; although the MAC and the TAO share a consensus on future visits, discussions have yet to determine the issue.

Chinese media outlets have been referring to Wang as the "presiding officer of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council."

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