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Mainland Affairs Council minister heads to U.S.

2018/07/16 17:25:11

Taipei, July 16 (CNA) Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Min-tong (陳明通) left on a nine-day visit to the United States Monday to boost policy communication between the two countries and garner greater U.S. support for Taiwan's cross-strait policy.

While there from July 16-23, Chen will give a keynote speech on cross-strait ties at a seminar co-sponsored by the MAC and the Heritage Foundation and will also meet U.S. officials and think tank members.

It will be the ninth seminar jointly held by the MAC and the Washington-based think tank and will come at a time when tensions between the U.S. and China are escalating and Beijing is increasingly flexing its muscles on Taiwan.

Against such a background, the U.S. needs a better understanding of Taiwan's policy direction, and Chen's visit is intended to improve communication between the two sides, while gaining U.S support for Taiwan's cross-strait policy, MAC officials said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) recently talked about cross-strait relations during a closed-door meeting with visiting former Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) in Beijing, claiming that the peaceful unification of China and Taiwan will ultimately be achieved as long as the direction remains correct.

Beijing-based Taiwan Affairs Office Director Liu Jieyi (劉 結一) has several times accused the U.S. of playing the Taiwan card against China after the U.S. signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act, a non-binding Sense of Congress that encourages the exchange of visits by senior government officials between the two countries.

China was also critical of the approval by the U.S. Congress of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act in June, which includes provisions to help strengthen Taiwan's military capabilities.

(By Chai Sze-chia and Flor Wang)