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May 25, 2017

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Cross-strait ties need more mutual trust: TAO

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO, 國台辦) will engage in direct dialogue with ordinary Taiwanese during his current visit to Taiwan, as evolving cross-Taiwan Strait relations require stronger trust between the two sides, the office said Wednesday.

TAO Spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said after a meeting between TAO head Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) and his Taiwanese counterpart, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 陸委會) Minister Wang Yu chi (王郁琦), that "Taiwan and China have seen a new situation in their relations."

This was the second meeting between Wang and Zhang, following their first in February.

Asked by the media about Zhang's desire to engage with more ordinary Taiwanese instead of visiting high-ranking government officials during his four-day trip, Ma said grassroots-level exchanges are necessary to solidify bilateral trust.

Forging stronger common ground between Taiwan and China could facilitate future exchanges, he said.

After Wednesday's meeting in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan, Zhang is scheduled to travel to the municipalities of New Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, as well as Changhua County, where he is scheduled to meet with Chinese spouses of Taiwanese nationals and with representatives of indigenous peoples, university students, farmers and fishermen, the MAC said.

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