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No cross-strait political talks for some time: China policy head

No cross-strait political talks for some time: China policy head

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) Topics of a political nature have not come up "for some time" in cross-strait negotiations, and there are no plans at present for talks over a possible peace treaty, Taiwan's top official on China policy told journalists Thursday. Beijing "may have" expressed wishes for political talks with Taiwan at some point in the past, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (???) said at an annual press event in Taipei, but Taipei and Beijing have chosen to focus instead on what he called more practical matters of policy and matters concerning the public interest. Wang said his council has plans neither for a formal peace agreement between the former enemies, nor for a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (???) -- both subjects of much speculation in recent months and years. Ma's administration hoped the two leaders could meet at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing, but China repeatedly shot down the possibility. One primary concern was how the leaders of the two sides that do not formally recognize one another would address themselves. The China policy chief also dismissed concerns that the lack of progress in a trade-in-services agreement, stalled in Taiwan's Legislature since mid-2013, and a deadlocked bill meant to monitor cross-strait agreements would have any impact on follow-ups between Taiwan and China. To the contrary, Wang said the MAC will push as scheduled for an agreement to avoid double taxation and another one on strengthening cooperation on tax-related affairs, adding that Taiwan is also working on agreements on aviation safety and cooperation on airworthiness standards. Asked whether he would attend China's annual Boao Forum for Asia set for March 26-29, Wang said he "would not go, in principle." Wang has not attended the forum in the Chinese province of Hainan since he assumed office as MAC head in late 2012. The minister said his priority is instead preparing for a visit by his counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office head Zhang Zhijun (???), to the Taiwan-controlled islands of Kinmen early next month. He promised also to beef up security for Zhang's visit in light of an incident in June last year when a car carrying Zhang in Kaohsiung was spray-painted by protesters during his stop in the southern city. (By Yin Chun-chieh and Scully Hsiao)


Updated : 2021-09-18 10:32 GMT+08:00