Middle-ranking members of his party can come - unofficially A senior mainland official hinted yesterday that Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian was not welcome to visit the mainland. Wang Zaixi , deputy director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference that Beijing was ready to make contact with any political party on the island, including the Democratic Progressive Party, as long as it recognised the 'one China' principle, scrapped pro-independence wording from its party charter and stopped supporting the island's push for statehood. The People First Party (PFP) and the Kuomintang, which upheld the '1992 consensus' on 'one China' and opposed Taiwanese independence, had established a basis for dialogue, he said. PFP chairman James Soong Chu-yu is scheduled to begin a visit to the mainland tomorrow. Mr Wang said the '1992 consensus' on the 'one China' principle reached between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation had been backed by the respective governments, which made it different in nature from party-to-party contact. 'We hope to expand the consensus,' he said. Although Mr Soong has been entrusted by Mr Chen with a message to Beijing, Mr Wang said the PFP leader's talks next week would concern inter-party and cross-strait relationships. Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party has denied that a consensus was reached in 1992. Mr Wang said Beijing would roll out the welcome mat to 'middle- and lower-level DPP members' who visited the mainland in non-party capacities. However, Mr Chen obviously did not fit into that category, he said. Beijing would not budge on its opposition to Taiwan attending the World Health Assembly later this month. Mr Wang said the mainland would smooth the way for Taiwan's participation in international economic, cultural and social activities only after the resumption of official cross-strait dialogue. The point was made by former president Jiang Zemin in 2002 and reiterated last week by mainland President Hu Jintao in his joint communique with Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan. In a goodwill gesture, the mainland offered a pair of pandas to Taiwan and Mr Wang said the mainland would welcome any gift in return. Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou had suggested the possibility of a pair of native macaque monkeys from Taiwan. 'We hope that Taiwanese authorities would not set up artificial barriers hindering the pandas' entry into Taiwan,' Mr Wang said, referring to concerns that the DPP could put obstacles in their path.