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High-ranking Chinese official on Taiwan affairs makes low-key visit

2012/05/21 21:13:34

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) A Chinese deputy minister for Taiwan affairs, Ye Kedong, arrived in Taipei Monday for a visit at the invitation of the National Policy Foundation, a ruling Kuomintang think tank.

Ye is the first high-ranking Chinese official to visit Taiwan since President Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration to a second term a day earlier and it is his first visit since he took office as a deputy head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council in 2006.

According to local media reports, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) had rejected many applications from Ye to enter the country since he took over his current post. The country's top China policy planner is also reported to have disagreed with many aspects of Ye's Taiwan itinerary.

However, MAC spokesman Liu Te-shun rebutted the reports Monday, saying that the council has never tried to keep Ye out of Taiwan.

Ye applied to visit in December 2010, and was also granted permission to visit last January, Liu said, "but he never came."

Asked about the visit, he said Ye's invitation from the National Policy Foundation is categorized by the MAC as "a routine interaction."

According to a report in the United Daily News, Ye is keeping a low profile while in Taiwan. He was scheduled to pay a visit the following day to the Sheen Chuen-chi Cultural and Educational Foundation, which is chaired by Sheen Ching-jing, chairman of the Core Pacific Group, the report said.

(By Chai Sze-chia and Elizabeth Hsu)