Taipei and Beijing have yet to reach a consensus on the visitation rights of Taiwanese detained in China amid the planned establishment of cross-strait representative offices, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday, promising to seek breakthroughs on the issue.
While updating the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee about the progress made in setting up the offices, Wang said unlimited visitation rights for Taiwanese detained in China is an essential function of the nation’s planned representative office and the MAC would continue to negotiate with Beijing on the issue.
The creation of representative offices across the Taiwan Strait is a major cross-strait policy of the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). However, a draft bill on the plan failed to pass an initial legislative review amid resistance by the opposition, while some KMT lawmakers also voiced dissatisfaction with the negotiations.
Ma yesterday defended the creation of the representative offices as a practical plan amid increasing cross-strait exchanges, adding that there was no political motive behind the plan.
“The timing and conditions are ripe for the two sides to set up representative offices. There are no political implications to the plan and the functions of the offices will be basically neutral,” Ma said.
Insisting that setting up offices on each side of the Taiwan Strait is mutually beneficial, the president urged the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to address the issue rationally.
“The DPP also talked about cross-strait exchanges and Chinese tourists when it was in power and it will have to address the issue again one day if it returns to power again… The nation must move forward and the opposition should join our effort to push the creation of the offices,” he said.
The MAC said Taiwan plans to set up three representative offices in China, but that it is unlikely to allow Beijing to set up 10 offices in Taiwan.
The establishment of the cross-strait representative offices has drawn criticism from the opposition. DPP lawmakers say the move could damage the nation’s sovereignty, adding that China could use the offices as a channel for intelligence gathering.
Ma yesterday reiterated that the government would adhere to the Constitution when establishing the offices and his administration would not acknowledge the existence of the People’s Republic of China as an independent nation.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public