Taipei, Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chiachi and the heads of three Taiwan counties will be attending the Straits Forum in China on Saturday despite an earlier call by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) not to attend the upcoming conference.
Ko Yuan deputy spokesman for the Taipei City government, said Friday that the deputy mayor will only attend the event's opening ceremony and not partake in any of its discussions.
Teng will be joined by Kinmen County Magistrate Yang Chengwu Penghu County Magistrate Lai Fengwei and Lienchiang County (Matsu) Magistrate Liu Tsengying.
The MAC said the annual Straits Forum, slated for June 1521 in Xiamen, is being used by China to drum up support among Taiwan's people and create an atmosphere conducive to its "one country, two systems" unification formula.
The MAC, the Cabinetlevel agency responsible for handling relations with China, urged citizens of Taiwan in late May not to attend the Straits Forum in China, branding it as part of Beijing's scheme to ultimately annex Taiwan through a "united front" strategy.
The council warned that Taiwanese groups and citizens are not permitted to sign agreements or memorandums of understanding, strike illegal deals, or forge alliances with Chinese authorities in conflict with national interests.
The regulation also applies to public functionaries in the central and local governments and any affiliated companies, it said.
Yang said Friday that he viewed the Straits Forum simply as an exchange platform and that he will be there to seek development opportunities for his county.
Lai, meanwhile, said he was going to the event to discuss issues on promoting tourism between the two sides, as well as matters related to fishery.
Zhong Zhigang, deputy director of the Fujian Provincial Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Friday that so far more than 10,000 people from Taiwan have applied to attend the forum discussions.
According to Zhong, Wang Yang chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, will be at the event.
Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Tseng Yungchuan and representatives from the People First Party and the New Party will also be attending the Straits Forum this year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel