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MAC offers to talk with DPP chair on cross-strait issues

MAC offers to talk with DPP chair on cross-strait issues

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan said Monday that she will meet with the leader of the main opposition party to discuss cross-Taiwan Strait issues, as President Ma Ying-jeou is concerned about the party's objections to his administration's China policy.
According to Lai, Ma summoned her to the Presidential Office Monday and asked whether she had discerned any great difference between his cross-strait policies of the last five months and those of the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration in the eight years it was in power.
The president wanted to know why DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen was opposed his policies toward China, Lai related.
Lai said she told the president she did not see any great difference between the cross-strait policies of the two administrations, and she offered to meet with Tsai to hear her opinions and to discuss with her the government's approach to cross-strait matters.
"I will meet with Tsai and explain our China policy to her, " Lai said at a press conference. However, at the time, she had not yet contacted Tsai to make the offer to meet.
Later in the day, Tsai turned a cold shoulder to Lai's suggestion, saying that President Ma should focus on responding to the concerns of the people who joined a protest rally Saturday that was organized by the DPP.
The DPP's Department of International Affairs Director Lin Chen-wey suggested that Lai give a policy briefing to the DPP caucus at the legislature before meeting with Tsai.
Lai defended the administration's direction on issues relating to China, saying that Taiwan is a democratic society and the government's policies are based on the will of the people.
"The current cross-strait policy protects Taiwan's dignity and and security and safeguards its sovereignty," she said.
However, Saturday's mass rally has given rise to concerns that administration's approach to cross-strait issues does not have the approval of the opposition, Lai said.
"Therefore, there is a need for the government and the opposition to meet and discuss cross-strait policy," she said. "If both sides of the Taiwan Strait can sit down and negotiate, why shouldn't the ruling and opposition parties within Taiwan do the same?"
The response from the MAC came in the wake of a challenge issued by Tsai Saturday for Ma to hold a public debate and dialogue with her on the issues of national sovereignty and the country's cross-strait policy.
Tsai was speaking at a mass rally attended by hundreds of thousands of people who denounced the Ma administration's tilt towards China since it took office in May.
The DPP is also strongly opposed to an upcoming visit to Taiwan by China's top liaison official with Taiwan, President of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chen Yulin, and plans to organize daily protests during his stay in Taiwan.


Updated : 2021-05-17 20:04 GMT+08:00