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Sat, Sep 02, 2000 - Page 3 News List

China official says Strait to remain calm for now


A People First Party (PFP) lawmaker yesterday quoted a Chinese official as saying that relations between Taiwan and China were on an even footing for the time being.

PFP lawmaker and former speaker of the Legislative Yuan Liu Sung-fan (劉松藩) said he and party members held face-to-face talks with China's Vice Premier Qian Qichen (錢其琛) and Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council.

"The official's remarks indicate that relations across the Taiwan Strait will remain stable, at least for now," Liu said.

But Liu, who has been leading a group of lawmakers from the opposition party on a visit to China, said Chen didn't say specifically how long the current calm in cross-strait relations would remain.

Liu said many in China are concerned about cross-strait relations after Taiwan made its first democratic transition of power by electing a DPP president.

Liu said he had asked the official whether there would be any change in Beijing's policy toward Taiwan following the mainland leadership's recent policy review meeting in Beidaihe.

"The official just said the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will have a period of quietness, but he didn't elaborate on the meaning of quietness," Liu said.

The PFP group briefed the press yesterday in Shanghai on the results of its mainland visit. Liu said the group had met with senior mainland officials in Beijing to discuss cross-strait problems and difficulties faced by Taiwan investors in China.

"No matter what officials have said about cross-strait relations, my observation is that China wants an early opening for direct cross-strait trade, shipping, mail and transportation links," Liu said.

Moreover, Liu said, China still welcomes Taiwan investments on the mainland. "Although our government adopts a `no haste, be patient' policy to discourage our businessmen from starting new cross-strait investment projects, mainland authorities will continue their efforts to attract Taiwan capital," he said.

After extensive talks with Taiwan businessmen based in China, Liu said most of them hope to see an early resumption of cross-strait dialogue to resolve many practical issues.

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