Tien Hung-mao to head Straits Exchange Foundation

2016/08/31 22:49:12 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) A former foreign minister and lecturer on China Studies was named Thursday as the new head of the Straits Exchange Foundation, a semi-official body assigned to conduct day-to-day affairs between Taiwan and China.

Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂), 77, who served as foreign minister 2000-2002 during the administration of then President Chen Shui-bian, was appointed to the post because of his many years of research on China, said Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺).

Currently chairman of the Institute of National Policy Research, Tien is well versed in cross-Taiwan Strait affairs and Asia-Pacific strategic issues and is dedicated to promoting Taiwan's participation in international affairs, Huang said.

The government hopes that Tien, with his expertise in China and international affairs, will help Taiwan businesses expand their opportunities and maintain cross-strait exchanges, Huang said.

Since Tien became head of the non-profit institute in 2004, he has pushed for many cooperation projects with think tanks and major universities in China, Japan, the United States and Europe, according Huang.

Under Tien's leadership, the institute has produced many outstanding experts on China, including former Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Huang Wei-feng (黃偉峰), incumbent MAC Vice Chairman Lin Cheng-yi (林正義) and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), Huang said.

In addition, Tien has served as a top advisor to the Chinese National Federation of Industries in Taipei, offering valuable analyses and suggestions to Taiwan's business sector, Huang said.

In an interview with the United Daily News, Tien said he could not give an immediate response to the question of how to break the current impasse across the strait. The impasse has resulted from a controversy over the 1992 consensus, which Beijing considers the "political foundation" for official exchanges across the strait but which the administration of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has so far not acknowledged.

"When my appointment becomes official and I've settled into the job, I will talk about my ideas for moving cross-strait relations forward," Tien said in the interview.

His appointment is expected to be ratified soon at the next board meeting of the SEF.

(By Sophia Yeh and S.C. Chang)
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