Having overseen a warming of ties with mainland China, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took the latest step on Oct. 10, approving a plan to allow both sides to set up representative offices on each other's soil. But permitting Chinese officials to have a permanent presence in Taiwan is controversial, drawing comparisons to Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong, widely seen as meddling in politics there. 

In Taiwan, Plan for China 'Embassy' Sparks Fears of Meddling

By , , Briefing

Having already overseen a spectacular warming of ties with mainland China, with 18 signed cross-strait agreements to show for it, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took the latest step in his National Day speech on Oct. 10, approving a plan to allow both sides to set up representative offices on each other's soil. But permitting Chinese officials to have a permanent presence on the de facto independent island is a controversial step, drawing inevitable comparisons to Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong, which is widely seen as meddling in politics there

On Sunday, Lin Join-sane, the new chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and as such Taiwan's top cross-strait negotiator, wrapped up a five-day trip to mainland China. At the top of his agenda were discussions with his mainland counterparts about a plan for the two countries to swap quasi-embassies to “serve the needs of businesses, students and the general public.” As the two sides have never formally recognized each other's existence, crafting amendments to the relevant laws -- not to mention establishing the proper diplomatic protocols -- will undoubtedly be a painstaking effort. ...

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