In order to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan, Eight city and county government leaders of Taiwan held a "breakthrough" meeting with Beijing officials on Sunday, urging China to seek ways to "reset and restart" cross-strait ties. After the meeting, China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun reiterated that China will continue to oppose Taiwan independence based on the 1992 consensus. However, Presidential Office Spokesperson Huang Chen-Yen responded that meaningful exchanges should not be based on any pre-requisites.
Since the new president took office on May 20, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan has dropped. The tourism industry even took to the streets in protest. Eight KMT city and county mayors visited the minister of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhang Zhijun to promote cross-strait tourism and cultural exchanges. The delegation also proposed plans for selling Taiwanese farm produce to China and setting up counterpart windows at a local level. Zhang said that since Taiwan's new administration does not recognize the 1992 Consensus, cross-strait exchanges have been hampered.
==ZHANG ZHIJUN, Minister, PRC Taiwan Affairs Office==
Overall, we need to conduct cross-strait exchanges based on the 1992 Consensus. Cities on both sides of the Strait will be able to cooperate and move things forward if we both recognize this basis.
Zhang reiterated that China will continue to oppose Taiwan independence based on the 1992 consensus, but he pledged to promote cross-strait cooperation, including exchanges between city and county mayors. However, presidential office spokesperson Huang Chung-Yen said that meaningful exchanges do not require any premises.
==HUANG CHUNG-YEN, Presidential Office Spokesperson==
Both Taiwan and China are responsible for maintaining cross-strait peace. We should do everything we can to promote mutual understanding without any political premises.
The Executive Yuan remarked that the tourism industry may be affected by the declining number of Chinese tourists. Thus, the government is working to diversify the tourism market, promote domestic travel, and innovate the products in order to attract Chinese tourists and provide support for Taiwan's tourism industry.
TRANSLATED BY：CHRISTINA LIU
記者 吳雅瑜 張國樑 台北報導