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U.S. welcomes widening exchanges between DPP and China

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/15 21:40:56

Taipei, Oct. 15 (CNA) The United States supports engagement across the Taiwan Strait at all levels, including interaction between China and Taiwan's major opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Taipei director of the American Institute in Taiwan said Monday.

Christopher Marut said the U.S. has long supported "all levels of cross-strait engagement" and welcomes the recent interaction between DPP leaders and the Chinese, including the recent visit by former DPP head Frank Hsieh to China earlier this month.

This kind of direct communication is very important to build understanding, and "we think that also contributes to long-term cross-strait stability," he said, referring to prepared notes,in response to a question on the DPP's interaction with China's leaders.

Marut made the remarks after a closed-door meeting with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang.

Marut, who assumed his post in mid-September, described his meeting with Su as "a great opportunity to get acquainted and to look forward to the future."

The AIT is the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries.

It was the first time Marut, in his capacity as AIT director, visited the DPP chairman, said Liu Shih-chung, director of the DPP's Department of International Affairs.

Both sides discussed how to strengthen ties between the DPP and the U.S., Liu said, but he declined to reveal more details about the meeting.

Liu said he believes Marut and Su will meet again in the future.

Hsieh, a DPP Central Standing Committee member who served as premier between February 2005 and January 2006 under former President Chen Shui-bian's administration, is the most senior former DPP government official to be allowed to visit China.

During a five-day visit that concluded Oct. 8, Hsieh had several meetings with top Chinese officials on Taiwan affairs, as well as with Dai Bingguo, a member of China's State Council.

The DPP said Hsieh made his visit to China in a personal capacity and was not representing the party.

The pro-independence DPP has admitted, however, that cross-Taiwan Strait interaction is necessary, and the party wants it to be open and transparent.

(By Elaine Hou)

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