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China visit boosts Hsieh's confidence in Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/08 22:11:02

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) Frank Hsieh, a senior figure in the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said Monday after returning from a five-day trip to China that his contacts with senior Chinese officials have boosted his confidence in Taiwan.

Responding to concerns that Taiwan would eventually perish at China's hands through more frequent exchanges, Hsieh said Taiwan should actually be confident in itself and the values it believes in, such as democracy, freedom, open-mindedness and law and order.

Taiwan will not face extinction because of cross-strait interactions or contacts. The only factors that could lead Taiwan in that direction, he said, would be to stop making progress or to suffer an economic collapse.

After arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Hsieh said that despite the many different opinions voiced about his trip to Beijing and Xiamen, he gained more from this trip than he had originally thought he would.

Speaking of his meetings with three senior Chinese officials, Hsieh said that although he and the officials had different points of view, it was still impressive that they were able to face the differences and have dialogues.

The meetings were arranged or proposed by Beijing, according to Hsieh. At the one with Dai Bingguo, a member of China's State Council, Hsieh said the two did not accept each other's political stances and beliefs, but they did appreciate each other's sincerity and good will.

Dai, who is also secretary-general of the Central Leading Group for Taiwan Affairs under the Communist Party of China, was the highest-ranking Chinese official whom Hsieh had met during what he described as a trailblazing trip to China that began on Oct. 4.

Hsieh also dined with Wang Yi, head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office and China's pointman on Taiwan, and Chen Yunlin, president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.

He said that during the meetings he spoke up for Taiwanese businessmen in China and for Taiwan's international space.

Though his visit was entirely personal, Hsieh, a member of the DPP's Central Standing Committee and a former chairman of the party, said his trip created a lot of mutual trust.

He said he was careful not to let the visit be interpreted as one of "paying tribute or being in a lower position" or of sacrificing "Taiwan's values and dignity."

(By Bien Chen-feng and Kendra Lin)
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