Sun, Jul 31, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Committee calls for ‘track two’ dialogue with China

Staff writer, with CNA

A consultative committee of the Mainland Affairs Council has urged the government to launch a “track two” dialogue with China in a bid to further exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

The suggestion was made at the first meeting of the committee since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office on May 20.

At the meeting, the attendees voiced concerns about the stalemate in exchanges between Taiwan and China since Tsai took office.

Cross-strait ties have been imbued by a sense of uncertainty following Tsai’s reluctance to recognize the so-called “1992 consensus.”

The “1992 consensus” — a term former council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Participants said that China’s internal political factors and economic conditions have also affected exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

The council said attendees at the meeting suggested that in addition to the current official dialogue platform, invitations should be extended to think tanks and academics across the Taiwan Strait to hold talks in a bid to facilitate cross-strait dialogue.

China is still pushing for exchanges in the private sector and is reaching out to young Taiwanese, attendees said.

Council Deputy Minister Lin Cheng-yi (林振義) said that the government continues to monitor cross-strait ties and would implement any measures needed to adapt to the challenge of the relationship.

Lin said that the government is determined to keep all communication channels open and to maintain the existing dialogue mechanism and would keep its China policy consistent, predictable and sustainable.

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