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June 23, 2017

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Ma should publish Lien's China agenda: DPP

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) urged President Ma Ying-jeou to publicize the agenda for Lien Chan's upcoming trip to Beijing.

Lien sits down with Xi Jinping (習近平), Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and leading cadres in Beijing next week, his spokeswoman announced Thursday. Lien, a stalwart of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) administration, will be paying calls in the capacity of KMT honorary chairman.

"It won't be the first time that Lien has met with Chinese leaders, so news of the Beijing trip is no shock to Taiwan's people," said Ho Po-wen (何博文), a journalist-turned-politician who directs the DPP's education bureau.

"What's more concerning to the DPP is that Lien meets Ma before his departure ... If Ma Ying-jeou gives Lien any special instructions or messages to convey, the DPP believes that the people should be fully informed," said Ho.

The DPP has consistently advocated for transparency in cross-strait political exchanges, and opposed any "secret exchanges or trades" between the ruling party and China's government, said Ho.

Later yesterday, Lien met Ma briefly behind closed doors to discuss the Beijing trip. The Presidential Office said afterward that Ma has not tasked Lien with a specific mission.

No Specific Agenda

"President Ma has not assigned any specific tasks to Lien," said Presidential Office spokeswoman Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏).

During the meeting, the president listened to Lien's views on Xi, China's president-designate, and to his observations on the cross-strait relationship, according to the spokeswoman.

Though the president has no specific agenda for Lien, he believes that important work for the next three years is expanding and deepening cross-strait relations, she continued.

Ma welcomes Lien's visit to Beijing as a private citizen, she said. At the end of the meeting, he asked Lien to convey his regards to Chinese leadership.

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