Oct 16, 2009

Taiwan: Welcomes Plans By HK Chief Executive’s Visit

Active ImageTaiwan said Thursday [15 October 2009] that it generally welcomes Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang's plans to visit and to open an office here.


Below is an article published by Central News Agency:

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan made the remarks in response to questions raised by lawmakers on the legislative floor.

"The MAC welcomes all measures aimed at increasing visits by officials and exchanges between Taiwan and Hong Kong," Lai said.

Tsang in his annual policy report to Hong Kong's Legislative Council Wednesday revealed a series of measures, including the establishment of a multi-functional office in Taiwan at an appropriate time, to enhance the territory's relations with Taiwan.

At a press conference held following the council's meeting, Tsang also said he hopes to visit Taiwan before his term expires in 2012. Regarding the proposed Hong Kong office, Lai said "the MAC will see what kind of office it would be," since the MAC has allocated NT$10 million to establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Cooperation Promotion Committee in accordance with consensus reached between the two sides.

The planned committee will serve as a major platform to strengthen Taiwan-Hong Kong exchanges, but the the details will become clearer after it has been formally inaugurated, she said.

In a press conference on June 5, then MAC Vice Chairman Fu Dong-cheng and visiting Hong Kong Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung jointly announced that Taiwan will establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong committee while Hong Kong will open a Hong Kong-Taiwan Trade Cooperation Commission under its Trade Development Council, to promote trade, investment, travel and cultural exchanges between the two sides.

Currently, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, which is financially supported by the Hong Kong government, maintains an office in Taipei that deals solely with trade matters and does not represent the Hong Kong government. Meanwhile, Lai called on the Hong Kong government to simplify visa procedures for Taiwan citizens to make their visits to Hong Kong more convenient.