Call for meeting on links

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 May, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 May, 1993, 12:00am

A SENIOR Communist Party official yesterday insisted that it was desirable for Taiwan and the mainland to open talks on direct communication and transport links across the Taiwan Strait.

Mr Wang Zhaoguo, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the Communist Party, was quoted by the official China News Service as saying that the issue could be included in future agendas between the two sides.

''The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) has been authorised to proceed,'' said Mr Wang. ''It is now up to the ARATS and the Taiwan Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to decide when, how and where.'' Taiwan last week sharply criticised Mr Wang Daohan, ARATS chairman, for raising the issue at a meeting in Singapore and reiterated that such talks were against its Government's policies.

According to China News, Mr Wang also praised the Singapore summit highly, saying it has ''great significance in the peaceful reunification of the motherland''.

Mr Wang's remarks came after the SEF's secretary-general, Mr Cheyne Chiu, said Taiwan needed to form a specialised negotiating team of 10 to 20 experts for future bargaining with the mainland.

Mr Chiu also said the SEF intended to invite Mr Sun Yafu, vice-chairman of ARATS, to Taiwan in July to discuss the problems of illegal immigrants from the mainland.