Sun, Jun 18, 2017 - Page 3 News List

The government’s Beijing policy is self-harming: Ko

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The central government’s plan to implement stricter review of visiting Chinese officials and media could be self-defeating, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

It is like “defeating 1,000 enemies, but hurting 800 of your own soldiers,” Ko said.

The annual twin-city forum between Taipei and Shanghai might be held from July 1 in Shanghai this year, sources said.

However, Ko has not responded to media questions about whether he will attend the forum.

Since Panama cut off diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China on Tuesday, the question of whether Ko would attend the twin-city forum has drawn media attention.

Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) on Thursday said that Beijing in the past year has unilaterally tightened restrictions on officials visiting from Taiwan, causing cross-strait exchanges to become unbalanced, adding that the government would review its policy and take necessary actions.

“Blockage wars” usually result in “defeating 1,000 enemies, but hurting 800 of your own soldiers,” and “the problem is, considering current conditions, it will not be easy for Taiwan to be involved in a war of attrition,” Ko said.

“I used to be a surgeon, so my reflex is to stop the bleeding when I see blood, but in the past two years I have come to realize that sometimes when you face difficulty, remember ‘more haste, less speed,’” he said. “Keep calm, think about it, then make an adjustment, rather than making a rapid response.”

Ko said that he still has the fast response of a surgeon, in that he can handle issues at the last moment, so although there are still many uncertainties about the twin-city forum, there is no urgency.

“Would it not be better to ease it up a little in non-governmental exchanges?” he said, adding that being too tense is not good for either side of the Taiwan Strait.

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