Tue, Dec 21, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Cross-strait talks benefit ‘narrow elite’: Wang Dan

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Exiled Chinese rights activist Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday described the cross-strait talks being held in Taipei this week as benefiting the interests of a narrow elite and called Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) a low-level “Q-list” politician.

Wang, who along with former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Lo Wen-chia (羅文嘉) has launched a cross-strait civic platform aimed at encouraging democratic dialogue, said the negotiations between Chen, head of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), and Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) were talks for special-interest groups that did not take into account the welfare of ordinary Taiwanese and Chinese.

“Chen is basically a low-level ‘Q-list’ envoy not worth mentioning,” Wang said, playing on a controversial reference by a SEF official to Chen as a “C-list” politician during his visit to Taiwan last December.

Chen was a “nobody in China,” Wang said, just one of hundreds of thousands of functionaries.

“He does not represent the Chinese people,” Wang said. “Only the Chinese Communist Party.”

Lo said that given Taiwan could not avoid contacts with the Chinese, what really mattered was who it talked with — people in power, pro-democracy activists, liberals or civil society.

“The Chiang-Chen talks stand for the interests of a few big enterprises and a class of rich people in Taiwan and China,” Lo said. “They never touch on issues of labor rights, democracy and human rights.”

Lo said President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has bowed to Beijing in the Chiang-Chen talks.

“As to the issues Beijing is unhappy talking about, Taipei never puts them on the table,” Lo said.

Taipei and Beijing exchanges lack any credible voices from civil society, Wang said. Cross-strait exchanges should not be the remit of political parties and officials alone, but should engage the grassroots, he said.

Their platform aimed to encourage such talks in a transparent and democratic framework, Lo said.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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