China / HK Macao Taiwan

'Mainland, Taiwan won't let protests hurt ties'

By AN BAIJIE and FAN FEIFEI (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-17 02:49

Trade deal used by separatists to undermine relationship, officials say

Chinese mainland authorities firmly oppose the "Taiwan independence" forces' attempt to legitimatize separatism under the guise of supervising a cross-Straits pact, a spokeswoman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office said.

Fan Liqing said on Wednesday that both mainland and Taiwan people will not allow the separatists to undermine negotiations and the relationship between the two sides that has grown over the past years.

Fan made the remarks at a regular news conference when asked to comment on Taiwan authorities' practice of having drafted the law on the scrutiny of future cross-Straits agreements.

"We hope that follow-up agreements to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, including a goods trade pact, will not be hampered by student protests," she said.

The mainland is willing to listen to more suggestions on cross-Straits cooperation from people from all walks of life in Taiwan, she added.

On March 18, hundreds of students stormed Taiwan's legislative chamber to protest the ruling Kuomintang's decision to bypass a detailed public review of the cross-Straits service trade pact, which aims to open up 80 of the mainland's service sectors to Taiwan and 64 Taiwan sectors to the mainland.

The protest lasted for weeks, ending on April 10 after the pact was returned to the island's legislative authority for detailed review. The law on the scrutiny of future cross-Straits agreements has also been drafted and sent to the legislative authority for review.

Fan told the reporters on Wednesday that the mainland will not restart negotiations over the service trade pact since it has already been signed by authorized organizations.

"The authority of agreements signed by authorized organizations should be maintained," she said.

The mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation signed the pact in June. The two organizations are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-Straits negotiations and the signing of agreements.

The mainland and Taiwan have signed 21 agreements since 2008, and cross-Straits economic cooperation has benefited people from both sides, Fan said.

The mainland would like to share the opportunities of economic development with Taiwan compatriots under the concept that "both sides across the Straits are part of one family", she said.

"We hope that the young Taiwan students will participate more in the cross-Straits exchanges, learn more about the situation of cross-Straits ties, and make efforts toward the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties," she said.

Zhang Zhijun, head of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, has been invited to visit Taiwan. The detailed schedule of his trip remains under discussion between the two sides, Fan said.

On April 17, Zhang said during the Boao Forum for Asia that peaceful cross-Straits ties should be cherished by those from the mainland and Taiwan.

The protest against the service trade pact showed that some Taiwan people fear that only large companies could benefit from the agreement, Zhang said, adding that he wanted to talk with small and medium-sized companies in Taiwan to hear their views.

Cross-Straits communications were not halted after the protest. On Tuesday, more than 100 union representatives from Taiwan attended the eighth cross-Straits labor union forum in Beijing. The theme of this year is "Cross-Straits workers jointly realize the Chinese dream".

Jiang Guangping, vice-president of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, said at the forum that the number of personnel exchanges across the Straits has reached a historical height of 8.08 million last year.

Contact the writers at and


Hot Topics