President urges DPP not to avoid topic of violent protests
July 1, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
HONOLULU, Hawaii--President Ma Ying-jeou on Sunday described the visit by China's Taiwan affairs chief to Taiwan last week as a very important step in consolidating relations between the two sides.
Ma made the comment during his flight to Honolulu en route to Panama, where he will attend the inauguration of President-elect Juan Carlos Varela on July 1 before traveling to El Salvador.
Ma said Zhang Zhijun's (張志軍) visit was highly significant because it indicated that the peaceful development of cross-Taiwan Strait had not been affected by the extensive protests in Taiwan in March against a trade-in-services agreement with China.
Also, several breakthroughs were achieved during Zhang's formal meeting in Taoyuan with his Taiwanese counterpart, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 陸委會) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦), Ma said
Besides agreeing to discuss with Taiwan the issue of permitting Chinese travelers to transit through Taiwan, Zhang reached consensus with Wang on allowing officials from each side to visit detainees held by the other side, after China and Taiwan establish reciprocal representative offices, the president noted.
In addition, Zhang also said China is willing to work with Taiwan in its bid for greater participation in regional economic integration, Ma said.
On the violent protests that erupted during Zhang's visit to the southern city of Kaohsiung that is ruled by the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Ma said Taiwan is a democratic and pluralistic society in which there is complete freedom of assembly, but he stressed that the use of violence is definitely not allowed.
He urged DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to take the matter seriously instead of trying to evade the problem.
On the way to Kaohsiung for Zhang's informal meeting with Wang last Friday, some vehicles and members of Zhang's security detail were splattered with white paint by anti-China protesters.
Some of the protesters also threw joss paper, or ghost money, at the visitors in an insulting gesture.
Stopping short of condemning the use of violence, Tsai expressed disapproval of the response by the security team that resulted in injuries to some protesters.