Fri, May 17, 2013 - Page 4 News List

TAO director’s comments slammed

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A Chinese official’s description of Taiwanese independence as “worthless junk stock” was an insult to Taiwanese and unhelpful to the development of cross-strait relations, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

Describing the nature of cross-strait relations using stock market terminology in a meeting with Taiwanese businesspeople in Shanghai on Wednesday, Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) was quoted as saying that while the peaceful development of cross-strait relations was a “blue-chip stock,” the idea of Taiwanese independence “will eventually be proven a junk stock.”

The Taiwanese independence movement is secessionist, tries to promote differences across the Taiwan Strait and is “splitting the big family,” Zhang said.

“It was unwise and inappropriate for a high-ranking official to use the word ‘junk’ to describe some Taiwanese people’s political views,” DPP Department of China Affairs Director Honigmann Hong (洪財隆) said in a press release yesterday.

Beijing should respect diverse political views in Taiwan, which is a democracy with freedom of speech, where more than 80 percent of people do not support unification and have a high degree of consensus on their national identity, Hong said.

Most Taiwanese view themselves as Taiwanese foremost and say their nation is not part of the People’s Republic of China, the director said.

Zhang’s remarks showed that he does not understand the democratic system and mainstream public opinion in Taiwan, Hong added.

Beijing has yet to fulfill Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) pledge that a “reasonable arrangement” will be made regarding Taiwan’s international space, and has kept squeezing out Taiwan in the international arena at every opportunity, Hong said.

Commenting on Zhang’s remarks, former DPP legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) said future cross-strait engagement would likely be troublesome when Taiwanese independence — which had a more than 70 percent support rate in a recent survey — is regarded by a high-ranking Chinese official in charge of Taiwan affairs as “junk.”

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