Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - Page 1 News List

China offices not cities’ purview: MAC

EXCHANGES:Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said he would defer to the central government’s decision if it disapproves of his plan to open a representative office in Shenzhen, China

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je speaks at an event in Taipei’s Wanhua District yesterday.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Establishing municipal representative offices in China would represent an extension of the government’s jurisdiction, which is an issue larger than autonomous rights granted local governments by the central government, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, calling on New Taipei City and Taipei to work with the central government on the matter.

The council said in a statement that it would study the cities’ proposals to establish representative offices in China and explain to them its stance on the issue.

It added that it would communicate with the city governments and provide them with the necessary assistance, whether it be to boost bilateral commerce or solve problems encountered by Taiwanese travelers in China.

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Thursday at a meeting of the New Taipei City Council told Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) New Taipei City Councilor Chen Ming-yi (陳明義) that he would formulate plans based on Chen’s advice to create a liaison office, service center or representative office in China to provide assistance to Taiwanese working or studying there.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Friday said at a meeting of the Taipei City Council that the Taipei City Government plans to launch a representative office in Shenzhen, in China’s Guangdong Province.

A mechanism established by the council, the Straits Exchange Foundation and agreements signed by both sides of the Taiwan Strait is in place to provide assistance to Taiwanese and Chinese travelers, the council said, adding that it would bolster the mechanism if necessary to give people better protection.

As people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait frequently engage in exchanges, the office called on the Chinese government to facilitate communication and collaboration in a manner that promotes mutual respect, thereby ensuring that people’s rights and order are upheld in cross-strait exchanges.

Chu yesterday said that he would consult with the council on the possibility of carrying out such plans under the framework 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).

Taiwanese businesspeople can be found throughout the Pearl River Delta — the area encompassing Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Macao, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and the cities in between — and the office’s mission would be to attract Chinese to invest in Taipei, Ko said.

Commerce is Taipei’s main consideration, but if the central government — which has the authority over cross-strait policies — disapproves of the plan, the city government would defer to the central government’s decision, he said.

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