MAC promises briefings before TAO meetings

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 - Page 3

The Legislative Yuan and the public will be informed about any exchange of visits between Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and his Chinese counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), once details of such trips have been worked out, the council said yesterday.

The need for such visits was agreed on when the two men exchanged greetings on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Bali in early October, it said.

The two sides are working on the necessary arrangements, but neither a date nor a location have been determined, it added.

Wang and Zhang addressed each other by their official titles during their brief encounter in a hotel lobby.

The council said the use of official titles was a good beginning to the development of “the institutionalization of official interactions across the Taiwan Strait,” adding that it hopes the public will look upon an exchange of visits between the two men favorably.

The council’s comments came one day after Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers said Wang should report to the legislature before visiting China.

News reports have said that Wang was planning to make his first trip to China in his official capacity after the Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 31, and before the annual meeting of the Chinese National People’s Congress, which is expected in early March.

Topping the agenda of a Wang-Zhang meeting could be the exchange of representative offices, a source said.

However, if Beijing brings up the issue of political talks, Taiwan would stress that the agenda should be on issues that both sides are willing to discuss, the source said.

If Chinese officials raise political issues “we’ll only discuss with the other side if they are in keeping with people’s will and needs,” the source said.