Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) yesterday said that he would express a “difference of opinion” on the establishment of cross-strait media offices with Beijing at an opportune moment.
His remarks come amid continuing controversy over the joint proposal issued by the representatives of more than 70 Chinese and Taiwanese media outlets — including Central News Agency chairman Chen Kuo-hsiang (陳國祥) and Public Television Service chairman Shao Yu-ming (邵玉銘) — after attending a forum organized by China Central Television in Beijing on Dec. 22.
Wang was fielding questions from opposition lawmakers at a legislative hearing yesterday afternoon, which was also attended by MAC Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀).
“I will remind concerned agencies to voice different opinions if they are aware in advance that China is planning to make a move similar to this one [issuing the proposal] again,” Wang said, adding that such a proposal should have made mention of press freedom.
The media outlets’ six-point proposal has led opposition lawmakers to accuse the Public Television Service and Central News Agency of becoming the mouthpieces of China.
However, MAC Deputy Minister said the Taiwanese representatives did not sign on the proposal and that it was only announced unilaterally by their Chinese counterparts.
“It would be a serious matter if they had signed anything on paper,” Chang said.
Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) urged Wang to take with him two Republic of China (ROC) national flags when he visits China after the Lunar New Year holiday.
Chen also took an ROC flag pin from Chinese Nationalist Party Legislator Chang Ching-chung’s (張慶忠) shirt and asked Wang to wear it during his trip.
On the sidelines of the hearing, Wang was asked by reporters to comment on an opinion piece by Wang Hailiang (王海良), secretary-general of the Taiwan Research Center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
The article, which was run by the Chinese state-run daily Global Times on Friday, urged Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to invite President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to attend next year’s APEC meeting in Beijing as the “leader of an economy” and to refer to him as “your excellency” if they met outside the forum.
“I have no comment at the moment, since it is not an official statement… We are still discussing how Xi and Ma should refer to each other at such a meeting,” Wang said, adding that the APEC forum would be a good setting for a meeting between the top leaders of Taiwan and China.