Cross-Strait interactions must follow principles of sovereignty, equality, democracy

Regarding the anticipated visit to Taiwan by Minister Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council (TAO), who is scheduled to meet for discussions with Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi, DPP's Director of China Affairs Chao Tien-lin asserts the DPP's position, issued on June 24, as follows:

1. We take a positive view of normalized exchanges between the two sides of the Strait, but these interactions must follow the principles of sovereignty, equality, and democracy, and cannot bring harm to Taiwan's interests, nor circumvent the mechanisms of democratic oversight to undertake political negotiations of any kind.  The itinerary and related arrangements for these talks must be public and transparent.
2. The future of Taiwan will be determined by its 23 million people.  This is our longstanding position, as well as the consensus and insistence of the people of Taiwan that the Ma administration cannot evade.  Minister Wang must clearly and accurately reflect the voice of Taiwan's people.
3. As Director Zhang has also expressed the wish to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation in Taiwan, particularly the sentiments at the grassroots level, and to interact with Taiwanese from all walks of life, we hope that on this trip he will make an earnest and sincere effort to listen and to comprehend the true feelings and opinions of the people of Taiwan.
On the subject of protests mounted by other parties and civil society groups, Mr. Chao pointed out that all of Taiwan is watching Minister Zhang's visit closely, and many people have strong opinions that they wish to express. Taiwan is a democratic society with diverse voices and freedom of expression, and this is in fact a very normal phenomenon, Mr. Chao said.  He emphasized that the Taiwanese people take these developments in stride, and call on the government and the rest of the country to do the same.  As for whether there are plans for DPP personnel to participate in the protest, Mr. Chao stated that he is not aware of any such plans.  "We will closely observe the diverse voices of Taiwan's society, which are to be expected in an open and democratic society."