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Ex-VP Lien meets China's Taiwan Affairs Office director (update)

2018/07/12 22:45:24

Beijing, July 12 (CNA) Former Vice President and Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) met with Liu Jieyi (劉結一), director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, over dinner on Thursday in Beijing.

During the meeting, Lien urged China to "substantively help Taiwanese farmers" based on the 23 agreements it has signed with Taiwan, according to Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭), a KMT official who was present at the dinner.

Chang quoted Liu as saying that Beijing attaches importance to Lien's visit and that "only when cross-strait relations are going well can Taiwan compatriots have a bright future."

Lien's message was delivered in the "thank-you" remarks by former KMT Vice Chairman Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正), who was also attending the dinner party, Chang said.

Lin said fruit prices have plummeted in Taiwan because of a glut in production. "In the past, when communications between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait were good, mainland China could help Taiwan tide over the difficulty."

Over the past two years, however, things have changed in cross-strait relations, affecting the interest of Taiwan's farmers and fishermen, Lin was quoted as adding.

Lien arrived in Beijing with his wife Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀), son Sean Lien (連勝文), Lin and others Thursday afternoon.

On some Taiwanese people's objections to their visit in Beijing, Sean Lien said such critics have criticized anyone trying to improve cross-strait relations for 30 years.

"If mere criticisms can get cross-strait ties moving forward, it would be they, not I, standing here for your interview," he told reporters posing that question.

Lien Chan is scheduled to meet China's President Xi Jinping Friday. Later in the afternoon, Lien will attend a forum on cross-strait relations at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. After that, Lien will attend a dinner hosted by Wang Yang, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

(By Miao Tsung-han and Wang Szu-chi)