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Not appropriate for Ma, Xi to meet in capacity as party heads: MAC

ROC Central News Agency

2014/02/17 23:31:15

Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) It would not be appropriate for leaders on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to meet each other in their capacities as heads of their political parties, the nation's top China policy planner said Monday.

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chief Wang Yu-Chi said his council thinks 'it is not appropriate' for President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to meet each other in their capacities as heads of the Kuomintang and Communist Party of China.

'We currently don't approve such a proposal,' he said during an interview with a local television station.

Wang said that for a Ma-Xi meeting to take place, it would have to be held at the right time, on the right occasion and in the proper capacity.

It will also depend upon the acceptance of the public, Wang said, adding that 'reciprocity and dignity are crucial.'

He said that the MAC previously broached the idea of a meeting between Ma and Xi at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' meeting scheduled for Beijing in October, but because the idea has not proven very feasible, the MAC will have to study other alternatives.

Zhang Zhijun, head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said Monday in Beijing that it was better not to talk about matters related to the two sides on international occasions.

Zhang said China's stance toward a meeting between the leaders on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has always been 'positively open,' adding that everyone wants to see such a meeting to exchange views on issues of mutual concerns.

As for the venue of such a meeting, 'I've spoken about the Boao Forum (not being appropriate). We don't need to do this on an international occasion, and it would be best for the meeting to take place on either side of the Taiwan Straits,' Zhang said on the sidelines of a welcome banquet for Lien Chan, the honorary chairman of the ruling Kuomintang, who is visiting Beijing.

(By Scarlett Chai and Lilian Wu)

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