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Taiwan government welcomes ex-Premier Frank Hsieh’s China trip
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2012-10-03 05:24 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi on Wednesday welcomed the planned China visit by ex-Premier Frank Hsieh, the most senior figure from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party to cross the Taiwan Straits.

Hsieh confirmed last Monday he would be attending an International Bartending Association competition in Beijing. He will first head for Xiamen in Fujian Province Thursday for the first stage of a four-day trip.

During his first appearance at the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee since taking office Tuesday, Wang said he approved of members of both the ruling and the opposition camp stepping up their contacts with China and increasing their understanding of the Communist country.

However, he had a difference of opinion with the committee chairman, DPP lawmaker and Hsieh confidant Yao Wen-chih, about some past statements.

Wang said that the ex-premier’s comments to the extent that the Constitution mentioned One China and that Kaohsiung – of which Hsieh used to be mayor – and Xiamen were two cities in the same country both corresponded to the contents of the Constitution.

However, Yao denied that Hsieh had ever used those terms. The ex-premier meant that any comments by Beijing insisting on One China should be countered by mentioning the Constitution, Yao said.

Hsieh is the most senior DPP official and one of the pro-independence party’s highest-profile politicians ever to visit China. He served as party chairman, Kaohsiung mayor, premier and ran for vice president, Taipei mayor and president.

Hsieh will be accompanied by other leading DPP members, including lawmakers Chao Tien-lin and Lee Ying-yuan, Yunlin County Magistrate Su Chih-fen, and Kaohsiung City Councilor Kang Yu-cheng, reports said.

Su told reporters the DPP needed to pay more attention to China because it was an important trading partner. The Yunlin County chief has reportedly visited the country five times, mostly at the head of delegations promoting the region’s agricultural produce.

In order to obtain the public’s trust, the DPP had to maintain pragmatic and stable interaction with China, she said in a statement. The party would also continue to pay attention to human rights, freedom and peace in its dealings with the Communist country, she added.

Su emphasized the need to protect Taiwanese farmers and Taiwanese business people investing in China.

She also said that the DPP trip would be useful in getting another point of view across to China. President Ma Ying-jeou’s views did not represent all people and all social classes in Taiwan, she said.

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