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September 19, 2017

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Wang, Zhang won't discuss sensitive issues: MAC

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) will not discuss highly sensitive issues of a political nature in their upcoming meeting, the MAC said yesterday.

The council also said that it will not sign any agreement or release any joint statement with the TAO during Zhang's visit to Taiwan.

The minister of the TAO is slated to arrive on June 25 for a four-day visit. In addition to meeting Wang, Zhang is also expected to meet with Taiwanese academics and students.

The normalization of interaction between cross-strait officials is conducive to the further stabilization of cross-strait ties, which is in the interest of the Taiwanese people, the MAC said, urging all sectors of society to look upon cross-strait exchanges in a rational light.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday demanded that the MAC-TAO meeting not touch upon any of the following issues or concepts: "one China," the "one China framework," the "one nation two areas" concept, "military mutual trust mechanism" and "peace treaties."

The caucus also demanded that the government not sign any agreement or release any joint statement with the TAO.

Furthermore, Wang should not endorse any statement that supports the one China framework or any statement that rejects the Taiwan independence movement, opposition lawmakers said.

If he fails to do this, Wang should be held politically accountable, the caucus said, adding that after his meeting with Zhang, Wang should report to the Legislative Yuan immediately.

Kuomintang lawmaker Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) declined to comment on the DPP's demands but said that cross-strait exchanges are a good thing.

According to Taiwan Solidarity Union lawmaker Chou Ni-an (周倪安) and other opposition lawmakers, not expressing objections against Zhang during his visit to Taiwan is tantamount to tacitly agreeing that Taiwan is a part of China.

Opposition lawmakers also called on the administration to receive Zhang by displaying the national flag.

Inevitable Questions

Chang Wu-ueh (張五岳), director of Tamkang University's Graduate Institute of China Studies, said that Zhang will undoubtedly be asked to answer questions of a highly sensitive nature, such as "who should decide the fate of Taiwan."

The TAO recently stirred up controversy by saying that the fate of Taiwan should be jointly decided by all Chinese people, and this is an issue he will not be able to evade once he arrives, Chang said.

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