A Taiwanese delegation comprised of eight local government chiefs or their deputies arrived in Beijing Saturday to discuss tourism with China, a spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) under China's State Council confirmed Saturday.
Ma Xiaoguang (???) said they will meet TAO head Zhang Zhijun (???) Sunday morning and will attend a dinner given by Yu Zhengsheng (???), chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, in the evening.
The delegation has come from New Taipei city, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Hualien, Taitung, Lienchiang, Kinmen and Nantou counties, Ma said.
The delegation, at the invitation of the Taiwan Affairs Office of Beijing Municipality, will explore the opportunities for exchanges and cooperation in the areas of economy, culture, and tourism, Ma said.
Some of the members of the delegation will also visit other provinces in mainland China, he said.
According to the United Evening News, a Taipei-based newspaper, the delegation is comprised of local chiefs from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and non-partisan parties who said their cities and counties recognize the "1992 consensus."
The "1992 consensus" as perceived by the previous KMT administration refers to a tacit agreement on "one China" between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait with each side free to interpret its meaning.
China has insisted on the "1992 consensus" as the political foundation for exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. But President Tsai Ing-wen (???) and her Democratic Progressive Party have never recognized the existence of such an agreement.
The local government chiefs have tried to find a way out amid a tourism slump caused by a sharp decrease in the number of Chinese tourists in recent months. A major reason is Chinese authorities' decision to turn a cold shoulder toward Taiwan for its leader's failure to recognize the "1992 consensus."
Deputy New Taipei Mayor Yeh Hui-ching (???) said before his departure "(we will) not abandon even each market, but will actively solicit it."
Yeh expressed the hope of continued cooperation to tap more market and business opportunities.
Lienchiang Magistrate Liu Tseng-ying (???) from the outlying island Matsu said that cross-strait exchanges have many benefits, and he hopes for more opportunities in bilateral cooperation, adding that Matsu's position midway between the two sides plays a crucial role in bilateral exchanges.
Hsinchu Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun (???), who heads the World Hakka Federation, said that he hopes to promote Hakka arts and cultural exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
He also wants to promote Chang Hsueh-liang's (???) residence in Wufeng, Hsinchu, where the instigator of the 1936 Xian Incident, in which China's leader Chiang Kai-shek (???) was arrested, was put under house arrest.
Miaoli Magistrate Hsu Yao-chang (???) hopes to attract Chinese tourists for an in-depth tour of his county and promote the county's agricultural produce during the visit.
Deputy Taitung mayor Chen Chin-hu (???) said that the visit is mainly to request China to open up more Chinese cities to direct flights to Taitung, so that Chinese tourists can buy more agricultural produce in the county.
He said that more Chinese tourists arriving on direct flights will help Taitung's hotels, restaurants and related businesses.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel