Tue, Dec 01, 2015 - Page 3 News List

ARATS chairman to engage with locals on seven-day tour

Staff writer, with CNA

China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) deputy chairman Zheng Lizhong, left, shakes hands with Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation vice chairman Shih Hui-fen in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) yesterday arrived in Taiwan for a seven-day visit.

Chen headed to the Taichung-based Tachia Chenlan Temple on arrival, which is dedicated to Matsu, goddess of the sea, a Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) official said.

Chen is to visit Taipei, New Taipei City, Keelung, Yilan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and Nantou.

The main purpose of the trip is to engage with Taiwanese in grassroots communities and promote cross-strait cultural, economic and trade policies, the official said.

Separately yesterday, a meeting was held with SEF Vice Chairman Shih Hui-fen (施惠芬) and ARATS Deputy Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中) to review the results of agreements signed by the two organizations.

At a press briefing in Taipei, Zheng denied that only large companies benefit from the pacts.

“No trade or economic activities can create equal benefits for all people, but the overall economy can see spill-over effects, such as job creation and tax revenue growth,” he said.

When asked about actions taken by ARATS after the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, on Oct. 22 published a report on 15 government agencies and state-owned enterprises including the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), Zheng said that there was illegal solicitation of funding among organizations tasked with handling cross-strait affairs.

“Problems such as soliciting sponsorship do exist,” Zheng said.

The report said the TAO is soft on officials that are found to have violated regulations and has poor supervision of organizations under its umbrella.

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