Chinese official wants smooth cross-strait relations
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, May 22 (CNA) A visiting high-ranking Chinese official involved with Taiwan affairs declined to comment Tuesday on President Ma Ying-jeou's inaugural speech, but expressed hope that relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can progress smoothly.
Ye Kedong, deputy head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council, said that his office's spokesman, Yang Yi, had already spoken clearly on Ma's inaugural speech.
Yang said that he had no comment Monday when asked about Ma's speech. However, he noted in a routine press conference May 16 that no matter what party affiliation, the political parties in Taiwan should "speak more about things that will benefit peaceful development of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and enhance the interests of the Chinese people."
Ye later called on Sheen Ching-jing, chairman of the Taiwan-based China Petrochemical Development Corp., to exchange views on cross-strait cultural cooperation.
Sheen said that the Sheen Chuen-chi Cultural and Educational Foundation, which he himself chairs, has been promoting cross-strait cultural exchanges for nearly three decades.
"Today's meeting was mainly to forge further cultural exchanges," Sheen said.
Ye, who arrived in Taipei May 21 at the invitation of the National Policy Foundation, a ruling Kuomintang think tank.
He has maintained a low profile during his visit, although he praised Taiwan as a "beautiful place that has undergone a lot of changes."
Ye's published itinerary includes cultural and religious exchanges and visits to temples in central and southern Taiwan, including a visit to Buddhist Master Hsin Yun, founder of the Fokuangshan Monastery, as well as other local religious figures, before he returns to China May 28.
(By Hsiao Pao-hsiang, Chao Hsiao-huei and Lilian Wu)
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