Tsai demands equal footing for cross-straits exchanges
Zhang Zhijun visits Taiwan June 25-28
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-21 05:01 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said Saturday that exchanges between Taiwan and China should be based on the principles of equality, democracy and sovereignty.

She made the comments in response to questions from reporters about the June 25-28 visit to Taiwan by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun. Tsai and Zhang were not scheduled to meet, but the highlight of the visit was expected to be talks between the Chinese official and his Taiwanese counterpart, Mainland Affairs Council minister Wang Yu-chi.

Visitors to Taiwan should understand that the Taiwanese people want to determine their own future, Tsai said in a reference to a recent statement by a TAO spokeswoman that the island’s future should be decided by all the people of China.

Asked by reporters about Zhang’s visit, the opposition leader said she favored exchanges and visits between both sides of the Taiwan Straits, but they had to be based on the principles of equality, democracy and sovereignty. Any visitor should also come to understand the workings of Taiwan’s democracy, she said.

Turning to the dispute with Japan over the failure of some posters to use the full name of the National Palace Museum in ads for an exhibition, Tsai said the government should be consistent and use the same attitude toward different countries, and not just toward Japan. DPP lawmakers have criticized President Ma Ying-jeou for using strong tactics against Tokyo but not reacting to similar incidents involving China.

Zhang’s first official visit to Taiwan is a response to Wang’s own unprecedented trip to China last April. The two officials are expected to meet in Taoyuan County on June 25 and in a more informal setting in Kaohsiung two days later.

Opponents of the visit scheduled a first protest for Saturday evening outside the Legislative Yuan. The organizers included student organizations behind the March 18-April 10 occupation of the Legislative Yuan against the trade-in-services pact with China.

The controversial accord is expected to come up again during the current special session of the Legislature, though opponents and students want to see the passage of rules monitoring talks with China first.

The MAC said it wanted to present the mainstream opinions of the Taiwanese people to Zhang. During his travels around Taiwan, he is expected to meet with several top Kuomintang mayors and with Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu of the DPP. The two met before while Chen visited China for a promotional tour.

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