Taiwan's MAC chief and Kaohsiung Mayor hold strategic dialogue on cross-strait issues

Minister Chen Ming-tong and Mayor Han Kuo-yu met to discuss Taiwan-China relations Jan. 23

Minister Chen (L) and Mayor Han (R), Jan. 23

Minister Chen (L) and Mayor Han (R), Jan. 23 (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Jan. 23, the Minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) met with Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) for a public discussion on cross-strait affairs.

According to Minister Chen, the goal of the meeting was to initiate a strategic dialogue between parties, and to seek the support of KMT Mayor Han for cross-strait policy of the Tsai administration.

Chen emphasized that the pan-blue and pan-green camps should be closer and more cooperative with one another, than they are with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing.

The two politicians spoke with one another before the press for about 30 minutes Wednesday, during which time both men avoided discussion of the contentious, so-called “1992 Consensus.”

Despite their differing political views, Chen and Han expressed agreement that Taiwanese people should not doubt the CCP’s determination to annex Taiwan. Both leaders also agreed that the will of the Taiwanese people remains committed to resisting the threat of the CCP, and to maintaining the country’s free and democratic way of life, reports LTN.

When asked by Han to outline the cross-strait strategy of the Tsai administration, Chen responded that the government’s strategic goal is to safeguard the identity and integrity of the country, to which Han expressed his approval.

At one point Chen even mentioned his Taiwanese ID card, and asked Han if his national ID card was the same, “Are we or are we not from the same country?”

Han answered in the affirmative, “We are from the same country.”

The MAC Minister also came to the meeting with a copy of Han Kuo-yu’s MA thesis, wherein Han discussed the propaganda tactics of China’s United Front. Chen pointed out Han's old quotations in a bid to remind Han that he has previously recognized and expressed concern for the strategies employed by the CCP to undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty.

For Han’s part, he sought to emphasize that his administration in Kaohsiung is only concerned with economic prosperity, and that he would not involve himself in matters of cross-strait diplomacy or national defense.

However, Han intoned that he would contest any prohibitive restrictions of regulations on cross-strait economic activity in Kaohsiung, or by Kaohsiung based enterprises. He urged the MAC to act as a “facilitator” of trade opportunities.

LTN reports that in closing, Chen urged Han to be weary of economic dealings with China out of concern for Taiwan’s security, and not to be blinded by greed, or to misjudge the predatory nature of the CCP.

Minister Chen (L) and Mayor Han (R), Jan. 23 (CNA Photo)