Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) vowed that cross-strait ties would continue to expand in a high-level meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) yesterday. \nThe talks between the two sides, which took place in Beijing, were the first since a landmark trade deal between Taiwan and China was signed late last month. \nIt was the most high-profile meeting in a series of talks between KMT and Chinese representatives. Wu’s visit to Beijing comes after he led a delegation to attend the sixth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum in Guangzhou. \nThe meeting was reportedly held at the personal invitation of Hu. \nDuring the talks, the two focused on issues surrounding the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed last month. \nWu said the meeting showed the improvements in the relationship between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), adding that he hoped the talks would continue — remarks that Hu immediately said he welcomed. \n“The forums must continue to be held and become better and better,” Wu said. “Today’s meeting shows how both our parties understand the importance of high-level talks to better mutual confidence.” \nIn response, Hu said that he believed the deepening cross-strait relationship, exemplified by the ECFA, would be in the “long-term benefits of the entire Chinese race.” \nHe also said that the ECFA would increase industrial cooperation, boost Taiwan and China’s economic competitiveness and was in the “interests of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.” \nHu added that the agreement was in the fundamental interests of the “Chinese nation,” expressing hope that the agreement, currently held up in Taiwan’s legislature, would take effect as soon as possible. \nWu said he was confident the legislative review of the ECFA, which has been boycotted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), would be completed by next month. \n“We have enough confidence that [the ECFA] will stand up to the most rigorous examination,” he said. “We believe that [the agreement] is in the right direction and will win the people’s hearts.” \nDuring the talks, Wu also passed Hu a message from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). \n“Looking into realities, tolerating [political] differences, accumulating mutual trust and further creating win-win,” the message read. \nOn Taiwan’s international space following the signing of the ECFA, Wu said some things were better discussed in meetings. \nThe meeting was criticized by Taiwan’s opposition parties yesterday. \nDPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said that it served the interests of the KMT and China rather than the Taiwanese public. \n“The KMT and the CCP are attempting to use these secret negotiations to decide Taiwan’s future,” Lin said. “The talks are outside the framework of our government and escapes public accountability.” \nHe said that if the talks continued to talk place, Ma “might as well get rid of the entire government.” \nThe Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) also criticized the meeting, with Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) saying that it was damaging Taiwan’s democracy.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South