Relations with China have cooled in recent months, the head of Taiwan's top China policy-making agency acknowledged Monday, but she said cross-Taiwan Strait have not hit the point of a "hot confrontation."
Speaking at a legislative hearing on Taiwan's relations with China, Mainland Affairs Council chief Chang Hsiao-yueh (???) said she would describe the current situation as a "cold peace."
That "cold peace" has led to signs of weakening exchanges across the Strait, she said.
The number of Chinese nationals visiting Taiwan between May 20, when a new government took power in Taiwan, and Nov. 1 fell 32 percent year-on-year, Chang said.
Also, during China's "golden week" holiday period starting Oct. 1, the total number of Chinese arrivals was down 31 percent from the same period a year earlier, including a 63 percent drop in visitors on group tours.
In terms of student exchanges, Chang said the number of Chinese students pursuing a degree in Taiwan this year was down 6 percent year-on-year to just over 9,000, and the number of those here on short-term programs was down 1.5 percent.
The only bright spot, she said, is that Chinese investment approved by Taiwan's government between May and September more than doubled to US$170 million from about US$74 million the same period a year earlier, and the 67 approved projects was up five year-on-year.
Cross-Taiwan Strait relations have cooled since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) assumed office on May 20 because she and her independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have refused to recognize the "1992 consensus."
The previous Ma Ying-jeou (???) administration saw the consensus as a tacit agreement between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait on one China, with the two sides free to interpret what that means.
But the DPP said no such agreement ever existed and that the so-called deal brands Taiwan as a part of China, a proposition a majority of Taiwanese do not agree with.
Beijing sees the consensus as the political foundation for dialogue between Taiwan and China and has frozen interaction with Taiwan and put increasing pressure on it in the international community.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel