ARATS calls for two-way cross-strait media outlets


TAIPEI, Taiwan — A visiting senior executive of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) voiced hope Saturday that media outlets from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can open representative offices in each other’s territories as soon as possible.

Wang Zaixi, a deputy president of the Beijing-based organization tasked to handle cross-strait exchanges in the absence of official links between China and Taiwan, made the call during a visit to the CNA headquarters.

The Chinese side has been holding a more active and open attitude on the matter than Taiwan, he said, adding that cross-strait press exchanges are a way to deepen communications, enhance mutual understanding and promote consensus between the two sides.

Wang also noted that ongoing cross-strait negotiations on the establishment of cross-strait representative offices of the ARATS and its Taiwanese counterpart, the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation, have entered high-level talks between the deputy secretaries-general of the two organizations.

“That plan might be able to be implemented this year,” Wang anticipated.

During his visit at the head of a press delegation, Wang exchanged views with senior CNA executives, including the agency’s president, Fan Hsiang-lin, on issues concerning news media development and media outlets’ operations and reforms.

Regarding the proposed opening of cross-strait representative offices of media outlets, Taiwan’s Minister of Mainland Affairs Wang Yu-chi said a week earlier that on the issue of cross-strait press exchanges, what is most important is whether or not news information can freely circulate between the two sides.