Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Measures against Beijing put on hold

WILL NOT RETALIATE:Taiwanese businesses have opposed a possible ban against Chinese officials, which has contributed to the government’s decision, sources said

By Lin Liang-sheng  /  Staff reporter

The government has put on hold a planned countermeasure against China that was announced in June to restrict Chinese officials from visiting Taiwan after Panama switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, sources said yesterday.

Panama cut formal ties with Taiwan on June 13 while endorsing Beijing’s “one China” principle.

The government at the time said it would take necessary countermeasures to limit cross-strait exchanges, as China had unilaterally restricted Taiwanese officials and academics from visiting China over the past year, resulting in an imbalance of cross-strait exchanges.

However, while Taiwan’s China affairs officials have announced that they were still formulating the exact countermeasures, government sources said the administration has determined that no changes would be made to cross-strait policy.

The government has re-evaluated the cross-strait exchanges, but there are no plans to make any changes to laws or regulations, the sources said.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy of maintaining the “status quo” with Beijing remains the most stable and viable option, sources close to the Democratic Progressive Party said.

The government encourages interactions between Taiwanese and Chinese officials and although China has unilaterally imposed restrictions on Taiwanese officials and academics, the government will not retaliate, party sources said.

The government is assessing the dependence of Taiwan on China to build a national security and self-defense mechanism in a bid to lessen that dependence, the sources said, adding that the government is going through all the details and it needs more wisdom and patience to complete the process.

Chinese officials have visited local officials in Taiwan and established a relationship with Taiwan’s private sector, undisclosed sources said.

The government, following exchanges with the private sector, is concerned about the effects of a possible restriction against Chinese officials on the private sector, they said.

Taiwanese businesses have opposed banning Chinese officials from visiting Taiwan, a contributing factor that has prompted the government to withhold from taking any countermeasures, they said.

Regarding the management of cross-strait exchanges, Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said the council would continue to evaluate cross-strait policies and improve management mechanisms to direct cross-strait exchanges in the direction of a normal, healthy, sustainable and thriving relationship to improve mutual understanding and trust while seeking a new mode of interaction.

Chinese officials would still be barred from visiting Taiwan if they are found to enter the nation with a false identity, suspected of violating human rights or participating in highly political activities or if they have been invited to Taiwan predominantly by the same organizations, Chiu said.

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