China Sending Top Envoy to Taiwan

From the Straits Times:

On November 3, the chairman of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (Arats) Chen Yulin will visit Taipei to continue the second round of cross-straits talks. Chen will be the most senior Chinese official to visit Taiwan since 1949, despite recent protests that have rocked the island:

Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei to denounce the government’s strengthening ties with Beijing, which they claim threaten the sovereignty of the self-ruled island.The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which organised the rally, claimed that up to 600,000 people took part in the biggest demonstration since Mr Ma of the China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) took office in May. Police in the capital put the turnout at around 180,000.

According to Business Week, Taiwanese business leaders have also come out in support of the visit.

“I hope Chen’s visit will pave the way for Chinese banks to inject money into Taiwanese businesses” which could not get needed loans from local banks with credit problems, said Preston Chen, head of Taiwan’s National Federation of Industries.

Meanwhile, President Ma Ying-jeou insists that the talks will not be political:

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) insisted yesterday that talks with China’s top envoy Chen Yunlin next week would not touch on political issues.

“The discussions will deal with technical issues, and if they fail, it will be very difficult for the two sides to normalize their economic relations,” Ma told a visiting delegation from local business associations.

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