Civilian exchanges between Taiwan and China will continue to flourish this year while political ties will remain as chilly as last year, the Mainland Affairs Council predicted Thursday.
The council, which is responsible for making policy toward China, reached the conclusion during a meeting of its advisors Thursday afternoon.
MAC officials estimated the two sides can make headway in talks over cross-strait tourism and charter flight issues. They noted that Beijing, due to host the Olympic Games in 2008, will seek hard to improve its international image as a major world power. While doing so, China will not cease the attempt to supress Taiwan's diplomatic space, MAC officials said.
The government here is advised to brace for tough campaigns in the pursuit of membership in the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
While seeking to lift its international stature, China will not show letup in its concern for attempts in Taiwan to rewrite the constitution, MAC officials said.
As the island is due to elect new lawmakers in December, some politicians are bound to promote rewriting the Constitution on the campaign trail, MAC officials said.
Such talks will rile Beijing and heighten political tension across the strait, MAC officials said. Beijing, however, is likely to respond by strengthening its unification propaganda against Taiwan.
Chinese officials are likely to launch verbal attacks on pro-independence elements here while offering incentives to lure Taiwan businessmen and opposition politicians, MAC officials said.
They suggested the government take steps to warn the people of risks related to cross-strait exchanges whether they are social or political in nature.
The government is also advised to address such issues as relaying Olympic torch and others that will soon grab the media attention here.