Jia Qinglin

Taiwanese wary of reading too much into 'softer' line

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2008, 12:00am

In contrast to previous strongly worded statements, CPPCC chairman Jia Qinglin only briefly touched on Taiwan in his annual report to the advisory body yesterday.

'[We] will join hands with Taiwan people in opposing and containing separatist activities aimed at Taiwan independence,' Mr Jia said.

Taiwan declined to say if it regarded the CPPCC chief's comments as relatively mild.

Jonathan Liu The-hsun, a vice-chairman of the island's Mainland Affairs Council, said it was still too early to 'jump to any conclusion based on remarks made by a single individual'.

'We are closely watching further developments there,' he said.

Wang Kung-yi, a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies in Taipei, said the mainland needed to change its mindset if it really wanted to woo Taiwanese.

'If Jia Qinglin meant what he said, cross-strait contacts should have improved a long time ago. But the mainland still refuses to deal with the Democratic Progressive Party government and permits visits by Taiwanese people only on a selective basis,' Professor Wang said.

Such a mindset explained why the mainland's work in relation to Taiwan remained ineffective, he said.