Fri, Jun 21, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Legislators stall cross-strait office draft

NO BLANK CHECK:Opposition lawmakers occupied the podium and paralyzed the review committee, while KMT lawmakers demanded that China allow visits to prisoners

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Wang did not give a firm, positive response.

“We will try our best to secure visitation rights, but I must say that the right to humanitarian visits is one thing for which Chinese negotiators have not shown any sign of agreeing to yet,” Wang said. “However, I fully understand the expectations from the government and from the KMT caucus.”

Ma says the establishment of representative offices for cross-strait exchanges is crucial and will serve more than 8 million people and facilitate NT$16 million (US$530,000) worth of trade.

“The two sides of the Taiwan Strait will deepen cross-strait exchanges, and it will be difficult to continue such exchanges without representative offices,” Ma said yesterday at the KMT headquarters.

Ma, who is also KMT chairman, pledged to enhance cross-strait exchanges if he is re-elected as the party’s chairman next month, while promising to promote regional peace in East Asia.

He declined to confirm whether he would visit China in his capacity as KMT chairman after completing his final term as president in 2016, and insisted that cross-strait development will continue to move forward.

“We have accomplished great achievements in cross-strait relations over the past five years and I believe the two sides of the Taiwan Strait cherish such fruitful results… Cross-strait exchanges will definitely continue to expand and deepen,” he said.

He said the government would conduct a thorough review of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) to facilitate cross-strait exchanges.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih and Chris Wang

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