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September 25, 2017

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DPP and Kaohsiung mayor express welcome to Zhang

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday stated that it regards "normal interaction" between Taipei and Beijing in a positive light, hinting at the upcoming visit of Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍).

Zhang will be arriving in Taiwan today, and will be meeting his Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) counterpart Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) the same afternoon.

"The DPP views normal cross-strait interactions positively, but on the condition that the said interactions are equal, democratic and uphold Taiwan's sovereignty," said DPP China Affairs Committee (CAC) head Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟).

Zhang's visit will last from June 25 to June 28, and he will be meeting academics and students as well as several mayors, including Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) and Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊).

Ties with China need not damage Taiwan's interests; democratic means of supervision should not be evaded either, said Chao. "Any political negotiations should be transparent for all to see, as well as related talks."

The DPP has always firmly stated that Taiwan's future should be determined by its 23 million people. This is what the Taiwanese people believe and insist on as well, said Chao. "Wang should understand clearly the people's voices as to relay them to Zhang and China," said Chao.

"We hope Zhang will be able to try and understand the Taiwanese people's thoughts and opinions ... since he has expressed a wish to understand the situation in all fields in Taiwan," said Chao.

As for the Taiwan Solidarity Union and several other citizen groups' plans to protest against Zhang's visit, Chao replied that it was natural for many Taiwanese people to express their thoughts as Taiwan is a democracy and accepts different opinions. "This is a normal phenomenon. The government and public should regard it as such," said Chao.

Kaohsiung Mayor Welcomes Zhang

Kaohiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday expressed her respect for the Straits Exchange Foundation, which has arranged for Zhang to visit Kaohsiung.

"Zhang is welcome to tour Kaohsiung as much as he likes," said Chen.

This would not be the first time the pan-green mayor met with Zhang. The two met in Tianjin when Chen visited China last year.

"This is a positive sign for cross-strait interaction," remarked Chen, who added that the time and venue for the meeting was not yet confirmed.

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