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Former Taiwan VP's remarks may signal shift in cross-strait ties
Publication Date : 01-03-2013
Most people would agree that political talks between China and Taiwan are inevitable, but former Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan openly declaring so at this time, during his recent meetings with Chinese leaders, has inevitably raised some eyebrows.
Lien told outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday that he “personally” believes that “cross-strait political dialogue and negotiations will be an unavoidable issue in the future.”
Hu agreed that cooperation and exchanges between the two sides should expand beyond economic and cultural fields.
The message coming out of their meeting has sparked speculation that President Ma Ying-jeou had trusted Lien with a mission concerning political talks between Taipei and Beijing.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) was quick to downplay Lien's remarks, stressing that he was only visiting China in a private capacity as the ruling Kuomintang's honorary chairman, and that the Presidential Office had assigned him no specific tasks.
The speculation and concerns arose from the fact that Lien had deviated from the standard rhetoric that has defined cross-strait ties since Ma became president and started mending fences with Beijing.
The Ma administration has always given priority to economic and cultural exchanges, and taken an ambiguous position when it comes to political matters. Never has it openly admitted or declared that cross-strait political talks are unavoidable.
Political talks between Taipei and Beijing may not be imminent, but China's quick rise to global power status has made it more a matter of when and how than pure theory.