IN OTHER WORDS: Milestone
Cross-Straits relations are bracing for a milestone event with Beijing’s top envoy on Taiwan affairs visiting the island next week. Chen Yunlin, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), is scheduled to lead a 60-strong delegation to the island for talks from Nov 3 to 7. The visit comes as a symbol of better cross-Straits ties because it will be the first time an ARATS chief lands in the island since 1993.
Chen’s upcoming travel will be a return visit for the mainland tour of his Taiwan counterpart, chairman Chiang Pin-kung of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), in June this year. As part of systematic negotiation between the ARATS and SEF, it is set to push cross-Straits relations to a new level and bring tangible benefits to people on both sides.
But unfortunately, Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), driven by its strong ideology, has gone against the public will to set hurdles to cross-Straits talks. The DPP threatened on Monday to plan a fresh wave of street actions to protest against Chen’s visit. But the DPP will never succeed in stopping the historical trend of stronger ties across the Taiwan Straits although it may create some trouble. The party will be further exposed for putting its self-interest above public welfare.