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Taiwanese mainland affairs chief addresses Washington symposium

Washington, July 13 (CNA) The minister of the Mainland Affairs Council MAC said Monday at a symposium on cross- Taiwan Strait relations in Washington, D.C. that both sides of the strait should give priority to people's welfare and the resolution of difficulties. Andrew L.Y. Hsia (???) was invited to give a keynote speech at the opening of the symposium on cross-strait relations co-sponsored by the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Taiwan-based Association of Foreign Relations. Speaking on the development of cross-strait relations over the past 20 years, Hsia pointed out that despite occasional tension and confrontations, the two sides have eventually resorted to rationality for the welfare of the people. He suggested that although both sides have gotten to know each other better, there are still fundamental differences politically. Conflict in this regard has led to estrangement, suspicion and rejection, he said. Referring to a comment that China has become ever more affirmative, Hsia expressed his view that China is afraid of losing its status quo. That is why it tends to adopt pre-emptive measures, including unilaterally deciding on issues involving air routes and entry permits for Taiwanese visitors, and passing a "national security bill," he added. Hsia pointed out that Beijing's insistence on only allowing Taiwan more international participation under the condition that cross-strait issues are resolved, has caused concern and disappointment among Taiwanese people. He said that the "1992 consensus" of "one China, separate interpretations" remains a cornerstone to maintaining the status quo. Taiwan's government is seeking to develop systemized and constructive relations between the two sides of the strait. The symposium brought together experts from Taiwan, the United States and China to analyze the prospects for further development of cross-strait relations and to discuss Taipei-Washington-Beijing relations. Among the participants were Richard C. Bush III, director of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies of the Brookings Institution; Alan Romberg, distiguished fellow and director of the East Asia Program of the Stimson Center; Raymond Burghardt, chairman of the board of the American Institute in Taiwan; and Cheng Li, director of the John L. Thornton China Center. (By Tony Liao and Lillian Lin)

Updated : 2021-09-29 09:40 GMT+08:00