Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday that if Beijing can overcome its reluctance to address him by his official title, he will not rule out a cross-strait visit.
Wang made the remarks during an interview with a local radio station in which he was asked if he could open a proposed Taiwan representative office in China and exchange visits with Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), head of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China’s State Council.
If there is an appropriate way to promote such visits, Wang said, “we would welcome it,” but he added that it is very important that each official be addressed by their formal titles.
“We have no problem addressing them by their official titles, although they still have reservations about extending the same courtesy to our ministerial-level officials,” Wang said.
He said China should recognize that he is an appointed official of the Republic of China government and should be addressed accordingly.
“This is not a personal issue. If there is a formal meeting I am representing Taiwan,” Wang said.
On whether President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) could take part in next year’s informal leadership meeting of the APEC forum in China, Wang said that although some academics in China have been discussing the issue, it is too early to talk about it.
Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) will travel to Shanghai on Tuesday for a forum to discuss cross-strait business, education, sports and media exchanges.
Hau will meet with Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong (楊雄) on Thursday and sign memorandums on district cooperation, libraries and citizen hotlines at the forum’s opening ceremony. Former Taipei EasyCard Corporation chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) and Terry Guo (郭台銘), founder and chairman of Hon Hai Group, will also join the delegation.
Lien’s participation in the forum sparked speculation about his bid for the Taipei mayoral election next year, as he has been a popular choice for the post. Hau yesterday denied trying to boost Lien’s momentum by inviting him to the forum, and said Lien would attend in his capacity as deputy convener of Taipei City’s Economic Development Commission.
“He will attend a forum on business opportunities for industries across the Taiwan Strait, and share his experience as a finance expert,” he said in announcing the visit.