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Hsia-Zhang meeting opens in Guangzhou

Hsia-Zhang meeting opens in Guangzhou

Guangzhou, China, Oct. 14 (CNA) As cross-Taiwan Strait relations enter a crucial stage, Taiwan and China must cherish the gains already made and work toward cementing institutionalized coordination and official exchanges, Taiwan's top China policy official said Wednesday. Mainland Affairs Council chief Hsia Li-yan (???) made the comment while addressing a meeting in Guangzhou with his Chinese counterpart Zhang Zhijun (???), head of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council. The two were expected to discuss the status of negotiations on a trade-in-goods agreement, the exchange of representative offices, the possibility of Chinese travelers transiting through Taiwan on trips to third countries and the state of cross-strait relations. Hsia noted that since President Ma Ying-jeou (???) first assumed office in May 2008, the two sides have worked to create peaceful and stable ties across the Taiwan Strait, representing a milestone in the development of cross-strait relations. The nucleus of cross-strait exchanges has been "using peaceful means to solve disputes," Hsia said, and both sides should continue such efforts, so that the gains enjoyed over the past seven years are not wasted. "We should continue to cement the foundation and mechanism of institutionalized coordination and official exchanges," he said. Stressing that it was the duty of both sides to maintain cross-strait peace, Hsia said that because of the sensitive and complex nature of the cross-strait situation, Taiwan and China should communicate and coordinate in a pragmatic manner under established mechanisms. The bigger the dispute, the greater the need to continue constructive dialogue to narrow the gap, he said. Hsia also invited Zhang to lead a delegation to visit Taiwan again at an appropriate time. Zhang first visited Taiwan in June 2014 and again this May in outlying Kinmen County. Zhang reiterated Beijing's insistence on the "1992 consensus" and opposition to Taiwan independence. He said cross-strait relations underwent a turbulent period in the past, but the two sides have paved the way toward the peaceful development of cross-strait relations since May 2008 by adopting a common stance.
"Present cross-strait relations have once again come to the issue of choosing a (right) path," Zhang said, who described the two sides as "an inseparable community sharing the same destiny." In making the choice, the two sides should focus on promoting the revival of the "Chinese nation," follow trends and public opinion and insist on the "1992 consensus " and opposition to "Taiwan independence." The "1992 consensus" as perceived by the Ma administration refers to a tacit agreement that there is only "one China," with both sides free to interpret its meaning. The meeting comes just three months before Taiwan elects a new president on Jan. 16, 2016, and the heavy favorite is Tsai Ing-wen (???), the nominee of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, which believes the "1992 consensus" never existed. Tsai has proposed instead to follow a formula of simply maintaining the status quo. (By Yin Chun-chieh and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-28 00:09 GMT+08:00