Chinese travelers cancel visits over pact controversy



TAIPEI–A number of Chinese groups have canceled or postponed scheduled visits to Taiwan amid controversy over the cross-Taiwan Strait trade-in-services agreement, sources said Monday.

The sources said the controversy over the pact in Taiwan has had an adverse impact on cross-strait exchanges in recent days.

Several groups from China’s Fujian, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces have canceled or postponed visits, and Zhang Zhijun, head of Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office, has delayed a scheduled reciprocal visit to Taiwan in April, also as a result of the controversy.

But Ma Shaw-chang, vice chairman and spokesman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), said talks on the exchange of representative offices between the SEF and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, as well as on cross-strait trade-in-merchandise pact negotiations, are still under way and have not been affected.