Thu, May 01, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Beijing has no comment on Lai appointment

CONSENSUSChina’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman said Beijing is looking forward to working with the incoming KMT administration on improving cross-strait relations

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Beijing yesterday refused to comment on the appointment of a pro-Taiwan former legislator as the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), but said it looked forward to collaborating with the new administration on establishing direct weekend flights starting in July.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesman Li Weiyi (李維一) told a press conference yesterday that Beijing had no comment on the appointment of former Taiwan Solidarity Union legislator Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) as MAC chairwoman when asked by reporters about Beijing’s reaction to her new position.

“What we really care about is the future development of cross-strait relations,” Li said.

The spokesman also denied that Lai’s appointment was the reason why China reportedly reneged on its offer to allow Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) to visit Beijing in the near future.

“We welcome the visit of Chairman Wu,” Lee said.

Li went on to say Beijing looks forward to working with the new administration on improving cross-strait relations based on the “1992 Consensus,” calling it a “foundation to resolve practical matters” and solidify peace across the Taiwan Strait.

“We hope to resume negotiations on cross-strait isues based on the framework of the ‘1992 consensus,’” the spokesman repeated on a number of occasions.

The “1992 consensus” was a term coined by former MAC head Su Chi (蘇起) to describe the “consensus” between Taiwan and China during a meeting in Hong Kong in 1992 that both sides would adhere to the “one-China” principle with different interpretations.

The term, however, has been blasted by the Democratic Progressive Party, which insists no consensus ever existed.

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) interpreted Beijing’s remarks as positive and pledged to carry out his cross-strait policies after his inauguration on May 20.

Ma’s spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said Ma’s stance on cross-strait issues was unchanged, and he would carry out his cross-strait policies as soon as possible through negotiations between the SEF and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.

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