A delegation led by China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Deputy Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中) arrived in Taipei yesterday amid protests from independence supporters.
The ARATS delegation is to participate in a preparatory meeting for the upcoming third round of cross-strait talks.
The delegation and representatives of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) will hold a one-day meeting at the Taipei Grand Hyatt hotel today to discuss the time, venue and agenda for the upcoming meeting between SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and his counterpart, ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) in Nanjing, China.
Shouting “one country on each side,” a group of Democratic Progressive Party politicians and supporters yesterday scuffled with police during a demonstration at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
“I am here to welcome the guests from China. Why can’t I wait here to welcome our guests?” former Taoyuan County councilor Wu Pao-yu (吳寶玉) shouted at police.
The Taipei City Police Department deployed more than 600 police officers at the airport and around the hotel. Police prevented protesters from getting near the Chinese delegation.
Police officers escorted Zheng and his delegation of about 20 officials from the airport to the hotel without incident.
SEF Secretary-General Kao Koong-lian (高孔廉) welcomed the delegation at the hotel, saying the third round of talks between Chiang and Chen was expected to further promote cross-strait relations.
“Many of the issues to be negotiated in the third Chiang-Chen meeting carry great significance, and hopefully the negotiations will proceed with openness and sincerity,” Kao said.
Zheng, who had attended the previous Chiang-Chen meeting in November last year, said the four agreements signed during that meeting had made cross-strait exchanges more convenient.
Kao later hosted a dinner party in honor of the delegation at the hotel.
The preparatory meeting is aimed at discussing the agenda of the Chiang-Chen meeting.
The Taiwanese and Chinese officials are also expected to exchange ideas on the government’s proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China during the meeting today.
The government hopes to sign three memorandums of understanding on banking, securities and futures, and insurance with Beijing at the upcoming talks. Both sides have also engaged in discussions on currency exchange and a clearing mechanism for the yuan.
The delegation is scheduled to leave tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) told a media conference yesterday that government officials dealing with the talks would visit Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Monday.
Ministers and vice ministers of the Financial Supervisory Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the central bank, as well as Lai’s deputy, would brief Wang on the preparatory meeting in a closed-door session on Monday, the MAC chief said.
Lai said that legislative caucus whips from all parties would also be invited to attend an informal meeting with Wang, adding that a formal briefing for all lawmakers on the Chiang-Chen talks would be held in the legislature’s Home and Nations Committee on Wednesday.
When asked whether the government would take into account opinions expressed by lawmakers in the two meetings if they are at odds with the government’s expectations, Lai said that the executive branch had the absolute right to decide on cross-strait negotiations based on the Act Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例).