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Taiwan's new negotiator with China set for first mainland visit

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/15 22:47:57

Taipei, Oct. 15 (CNA) Lin Join-sane, chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), will set off Tuesday on his first visit to China, hoping to beef up his credentials in an area where he lacks experience.

"I expect the trip will show me a picture (of China) that is worth a thousand words," Lin said at a news briefing Monday.

When the 67-year-old Lin took over his post as Taiwan's top negotiator with China in late September, the appointment was questioned because of his lack of experience in dealing with cross-Taiwan Strait issues.

Before succeeding Chiang Pin-kung as SEF chairman, Lin was the secretary-general of the ruling Kuomintang. During a public service career that stretches back to 1970, he has also served as deputy minister of the interior and Cabinet secretary-general.

But Lin described his upcoming visit as "a trip aimed at making progress" in gaining knowledge of issues concerning cross-strait exchanges and Taiwanese businesses operating in mainland China.

He said he would also try to build mutual trust with Beijing, and he expected to visit Taiwanese businesses there to get a feel for how they are doing, he said.

During his six-day stay, he will meet his Chinese counterpart Chen Yunlin, president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), and Wang Yi, head of China's State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, Lin said.

Asked about reports that he may meet with Jia Qinglin, a key player in deciding China's Taiwan policy and a member of the China's Politburo, Lin said he will respect mainland China's arrangements.

"A guest should suit the convenience of the host," he said.

Sources from Beijing indicated that Lin will meet Jia on Oct. 17. Jia will be the highest ranking Chinese official Lin will meet during his trip.

The SEF chairman said the trip was also "very important and necessary" because it reciprocates a visit made by his Chinese counterpart Chen to Taiwan in September.

The SEF and ARATS are intermediary bodies founded to handle cross-strait interactions in the absence of diplomatic ties.

Lin will head a 13-member delegation on the trip. Members of the delegation will include Deputy Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun, Vice Minister of Mainland Affairs Chang Hsien-yao, and SEF Deputy Secretary-General Ma Shaw-chang.

According to Lin's planned itinerary in China, he will fly to Beijing Tuesday to meet Chen and Wang and hold talks with Taiwanese business people operating in Beijing and Tianjin.

Lin will head to Shanghai on Oct. 19 before heading to Kunshan in Jiangsu Province the next day. He is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Oct. 21.

(By Scarlett Chai and Elizabeth Hsu)

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