TAIPEI, Taiwan — The meeting between Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council head Andrew Hsia (夏立言) and the head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (國台辦) Zhang Zhi-jun (張志軍) came to a close yesterday, with Zhang emphasizing the importance of “peaceful cross-strait development.”
“Do not fail to notice the street lamp before it has gone out. Do not realize the value of peace until you lose it,” were Zhang’s parting words after mentioning that both governments have gained much from the seven-years of cooperation, and also further concluding three other “resolutions” from his trip to Kinmen.
The three resolutions include “a peaceful and stable Taiwan Strait,” “to enrich people on both shores’ well-being,” and “to continue down the road of peaceful development,” Zhang said, and hoped a second Hsia-Zhang meeting could be possible in the future.
Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Steve Lin (林祖嘉) also pointed out that the meeting had an important meaning, as it saw discussions of important issues such as a continual cross-strait exchange, Taiwan’s future participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the reciprocal establishment of cross-strait representative offices and travel hubs for Chinese tourists in Taiwan. The deputy minister hoped the issues discussed will bear fruit soon.
Lin also said that the Kinmen-Fujian water pipeline, environmental concerns about garbage on the Kinmen’s shores, and the “Little Three Links” (小三通) were also Kinmen-related issues discussed during the meeting.
Knives of Peace
Kitchen knives being made in Kinmen from old artillery shell casings symbolize that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have buried the hatchet and are working for peace, the Chinese official said.
Zhang also said he hoped the two sides can maintain peace while visiting the steel knife factory that makes knives from the shells fired by China at Kinmen between 1958 and 1978.
During the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, the People’s Liberation Army fired around 450,000 shells at the Kinmen Islands located just kilometers off China’s coast to try to retake them from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
More recently, Kinmen has become famous for its production of cleavers made from the PLA shells.
Go back home, TSU: Kinmen
Kinmen Council members protested yesterday in response to the brawl that occurred before Zhang’s arrival at Kinmen’s Shuitou Harbor, caused by youth wing members of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU, 台聯青年軍) who hurled smoke grenades and clashed with pro-unification supporters.
Hung Li-ping (洪麗萍) along with other council members had arrived at the Treasure Island Resort Hotel (金沙大地國際渡假飯店), where the meeting was held, to stage protests against the TSU’s violent actions.
The council members condemned the violent methods, saying that the Hsia-Zhang meeting was held to discuss the improvement of Kinmen’s livelihood, and chanted “Kinmen needs livelihood; we condemn violence” and “Go back home, TSU.”
The Kinmen County Police Department also reported arresting three TSU youth protesters who hurled grenades, and one civilian who attacked the protesters. The police finished their inquiries and the recording of statements last night.
The department also denied being biased in its management of the case and said it will maintain a legal, neutral stance throughout the investigation.