Thu, Jun 14, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Cross-strait talks hurt by Costa Rican move: MAC

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

China's diplomatic rapprochement with Costa Rica has upset cross-strait negotiations on many issues, including the 2008 Olympic torch relay route, a senior Mainland Affairs Council official said yesterday.

"It is just like someone slapping you in the face. How could this facilitate negotiations?" the official said.

"The atmosphere is not good," he said.

The ambit of cross-strait talks includes issues such as the 2008 Olympic torch relay route, opening the country to Chinese tourists and direct cargo and passenger charter flights.

On April 26, Beijing announced that the Olympic torch would travel to Taiwan from Vietnam before continuing on to Hong Kong. Taipei immediately rejected the itinerary, arguing that the route belittled Taiwan and depicted it as being part of China.

The MAC official denied local media reports yesterday claiming that cross-strait negotiations would resume shortly.

In Beijing, Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Yang Yi (楊毅) also denied yesterday that negotiations on the torch relay route would resume soon.

In a news release yesterday, the council reiterated that "if there is negotiation with China on the torch relay for the 2008 Olympic Games, the talks must be held under the principles of safeguarding the nation's sovereignty, dignity and cross-strait parity."

"Although China has claimed it would renegotiate on torch relay route, so far it has so far failed to do so," the council said.

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