DPP: Results of initial Wang-Zhang talks ‘disappointing’
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-02-12 12:31 PM
Tsai Hung-lung, director of the DPP China Affairs Department, said Tuesday that the talks between Wang Yu-chi of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and Zhang Zhijun of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) produced widely varying press releases from the two sides following the conclusion of the historic meeting in Nanjing. Tsai noted that MAC’s statement following the meeting was evasive and failed to say what concrete results were reached during the closed-door talks between the two representatives. The press release given out by the TAO, on the other hand, trumpeted the claim that the two sides had “reached a positive consensus on certain issues” as its headline but failed to identify what those issues were. The Chinese release also said that in the future the two sides will focus on five projects including the completion of an ECFA follow-up agreement. The disparity between the two releases, said Tsai, reveals little other than that the representatives of the two sides were "in agreement" during the talks.

Tuesday’s meeting between the head of the two cross-strait affairs agencies indicates progress toward the normalization of relations between the two governments, said Tsai. He noted that this is something that the DPP has been advocating for a long time, adding that the party hopes that in the future both sides will continue to maintain dignified approaches as they work to build channels of communication with each other.

At the same time, Tsai said that the Wang-Zhang Meeting and similar efforts would never replace the functions of the Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait. He noted that while MAC has said it hopes to reach agreements on areas such as visitation rights and other humanitarian issues, the fact that there was no concrete progress in the first meeting between the two sides indicates that so far, anyway, the Wang-Zhang Meeting is little more than quasi-political negotiations. It also suggests that negotiations between the two sides have also reached a critical state in working to create an oversight mechanism for cross-strait negotiations and agreements.

Tsai pointed out that the people of Taiwan are very much concerned about personal issues such as the mutual establishment of cross-strait offices, humanitarian visitation rights, freedom of the press and a restart to negotiations on the trade agreement on services. Other issues demanding attention include compensation for injuries from melamine in foodstuffs, the repatriation of major economic criminals and the implementation of investment protection measures The DPP has repeatedly called for the inclusion of these and other items in cross-strait talks, and the failure of the Wang-Zhang Meeting to produce any concrete results is very disappointing for the party.

Tsai concluded by saying that he hopes that after returning to Taiwan, Wang Yu-chi will explain to the Legislative Yuan and the people of Taiwan what exactly was touched on during his meeting with Zhang Zhijun and what he plans to accomplish in future talks between the two sides.

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