Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Yao Jen-to (姚人多) was yesterday elected as vice chairman and secretary-general of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).
Yao’s election was confirmed by the board of the foundation, spokeswoman Kuan An-lu (管安露) said.
Following his confirmation, Yao said he would work with the foundation’s staff to handle cross-strait affairs based on the principle of serving the interests of people on the both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Kuan said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Asked how Yao’s stance on Taiwanese independence might affect his job, Kuan said that politics should not influence people-to-people exchanges between Taiwan and China, adding that the two sides of the strait have engaged in exchanges for more than 30 years.
Taiwan has always kept an open mind about cross-strait exchanges and would not turn down opportunities for communication with pro-unification factions in China, Kuan said.
During a public forum in 2013, Yao, at the time an associate professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University, said that Taiwanese independence had lost its place in the mainstream and urged the Democratic Progressive Party to facilitate democratization in China by promoting Taiwan’s experiences in furthering democracy, freedom and human rights.
Yao on Wednesday resigned from his Presidential Office position to take up the new role, Kuan said.
Yao is a capable person who would contribute to the positive development of cross-strait relations, foundation chairwoman Katharine Chang (張小月) said.
The foundation would in August or September set up a telephone hotline to provide information to young people who wish to study in China, she said.
It would also continue to improve its services for China-based Taiwanese businesses, Chinese spouses of Taiwanese and Chinese students in Taiwan, Chang added.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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