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Government mulling possibility of exchanging cross-strait offices

2012/07/30 20:38:26

Taipei, July 30 (CNA) The government has been reviewing relevant laws and regulations in preparation for the exchange of "overall offices" across the Taiwan Strait at some point in the future, the head of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Monday.

The establishment of such offices by Taiwan and China in each other's countries would involve amendments to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and the MAC has been discussing the issue with relevant government agencies, said Lai Shin-yuan.

Lai was responding to calls for the offices in a 17-point "common views" statement announced at the end of a two-day cross-strait trade, economic and cultural forum between Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) a day earlier in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin.

"Opening the offices is high on the agenda of the government's 'golden decade' plan," Lai said, adding, however, that "more negotiations with the mainland are necessary before the offices can be established."

Lai said late the previous day that the Chinese authorities should stop suppressing Taiwan's international space and instead should deal with it in "a peaceful and rational manner."

"The Republic of China is a sovereign country," reiterated Lai in a rebuttal of remarks made at the forum July 28 by Jia Qinglin, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, that "cross-strait relations are not 'state-to-state.'"

Jia's definition of Taiwan-China ties as "not state-to-state," however, was included in the KMT-CPC common views.

The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reacted sharply to Jia's remark, saying that it demonstrates that China continues to "offend Taiwan step-by-step" and that a failure on the part of Taiwan to address the issue properly will be tantamount to "recognizing Taiwan as part of China."

DPP Policy Committee head Joseph Wu said at a press conference earlier in the day that "there is no room for Taiwan to have its own interpretation of the 'one China' principle as has been claimed by the KMT with regard to the so-called '1992 consensus.'"

The ruling party has said the "1992 consensus" is a tacit agreement between the two sides of the strait that "there is only one China, with each side free to have its own interpretation of what that means.

Wu said China is taking an offensive stance against Taiwan, based on the "six-point" guidelines of CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao in 2008 -- from luring Taiwan into economic cooperation to forcing the country to engage in political talks -- beginning with working to terminate cross-strait hostility, negotiating a peace accord, establishing confidence-building measures and then progressing to the so-called "national unification."

If the KMT fails to reject political talks, then cross-strait ties will soon move into the stage of "termination of hostility" and "signing of a peace accord," he said.

(By Chen Hung-chin, Sofia Yeh and Bear Lee)
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