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September 20, 2017

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Tsai urges closer look at China's 'good will'

TAIPEI--China's Taiwan affairs chief was friendly during his stay in Taiwan this week, but further observation is needed to see if it leads to any change in Beijing's policy toward Taiwan, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said Saturday.

Tsai was commenting on remarks by Zhang Zhijun, minister of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, in Kaohsiung Friday that Beijing respected Taiwan's choice of social system and values and that China would like to share its economic achievements with Taiwan rather than swallow up its economy.

"Zhang Zhijun was basically trying to show good will, but there are still many issues that require further observation," Tsai said.

As to Friday's meeting between Zhang and Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu, a senior figure in the DPP, Tsai said "to a certain extent, the meeting represents the DPP's attitude toward cross-Taiwan Strait exchanges."

In a Facebook post a day earlier, Tsai described the second meeting between Chen and Zhang as an important first step toward a more extensive mutual understanding across the strait.

Zhang first met with Chen when the mayor visited Tianjin, China in late August 2013 to promote the 2013 Asia Pacific Cities Summit in her city — a move seen as an easing of China's no-contact policy toward the independence-leaning DPP.

Asked whether the violent protests targeting Zhang that erupted in Kaohsiung late Friday were the appropriate way to treat a guest, Tsai did not directly answer the question.

Instead, she expressed disapproval of security measures that resulted in injuries to some protesters, saying that security should be enforced based on the principle of "minimum intervention" in order to not interfere with personal freedom and the freedom of speech.

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