While the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) recent efforts to carry out exchanges with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are worthy of encouragement, “no positive improvement can be seen” in the transformation of the party’s cross-strait policies, a top Chinese official in charge of Taiwanese affairs said on Monday.
Taiwan Affairs Office Deputy Director Sun Yafu (孫亞夫) made the comments on the sidelines of a seminar on cross-strait relations held in Shenyang.
Sun also spoke about the possibility of a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). He said that holding such a meeting would be a good thing, but that both sides have to work hard to create the conditions for it to occur.
Cheng Siwei (成思危), former vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and an academic specializing in Taiwan affairs, said that China would continue to promote political dialogue between citizens on both sides of the Strait to boost mutual understanding and trust.
Such interactions would also create platforms and mechanisms for discussions on a wider range of political issues and attract more DPP members to participate, leading to more substantive results, Cheng said.
Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), head of the financial and economic law department at Asia University, and a DPP member familiar with China affairs, said that there is consensus among political parties in Taiwan on the need to maintain cross-strait peace .
However, since Taiwan is a diverse and democratic society, it is normal that there be different and opposing views on the development of cross-strait relations, he said, adding that the key is how to settle such differences.
Chiu said that Taiwan and China should shift their cross-strait policy from one of mutual non-recognition of sovereignty to mutual recognition of sovereignty.
The signing of 19 agreements related to customs cooperation, bilateral judicial assistance and economic and trade exchanges between the two sides is tantamount to mutual recognition of sovereignty across the Strait, he said.
Ma recently expressed his hopes of attending the APEC forum in his capacity as the head of an economic entity.
In response, Sun said that China is aware of Taiwan’s long-term aspirations, but arrangements have to be made by APEC based on conventional practices.