In May 1999, the Association of Chinese Political Studies (ACPS) successfully organized an academic trip to Taiwan. Fourteen ACPS members headed by Drs. Gang Lin and Weixing Chen joined the trip, beginning on May 17 and ending on May 30. This is the fourth academic trip to Taiwan organized by the ACPS and sponsored by the Taipei-based China Reunification Alliance (CRA) since 1993. Accumulated on its previous experience and knowledge, the ACPS group benefited significantly from the academic trip.
Thanks to the well-prepared arrangement of CRA, the group visited a number of government agencies, academic/educational institutions and media organizations during the trip. Government agencies visited include Legislative Yuan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission (OCAC), Government Information Office, Council for Economic Planning & Development, Central Election Commission, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), and Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF). Other institutions include Institution for National Policy Research, Institution of International Relations at National Chengchi University, Providence University, National Sun Yat-sen University, International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training, Institute of Chinese Communist Studies and United Daily News. The group also attended three symposiums organized by CRA, Institute of Chinese Communist Studies and Providence University, respectively. The themes of the symposiums are all focused on China’s domestic development and cross-Taiwan Strait relations.
Cross-Strait relationship is naturally the major concern of the ACPS group, as well as for our hosts in Taiwan. During the trip, ACPS members had good opportunities to discuss this hot topic with many Taiwanese scholars. The trip also provided good opportunities for ACPS member to interview some important government figures in Taiwan, including OCAC Minister Chiao Jen-Ho (former Secretary General of SEF), MAC Chairman Su Chi and vice chairmen Lin Chong-pin and Wu An-chia. Some of ACPS group members utilized their own time during the trip to get more interviewees, including former Premier Lee Huan, SEF Secretary General Shi Hwei-yow, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General Yu Shyi-kun and DPP legislators Parris Chang and Chen Chong-hsin. As a whole, the ACPS group gained a lot of first-hand information from the trip, which is greatly helpful to their ongoing research projects on Taiwan.
After the Taiwan trip, five of the ACPS group members continued their field work in Beijing. This smaller group, together with ACPS former president Yang Zhong, visited several academic institutions and government agencies in early June, sponsored by Institute of Taiwan Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Institutions visited include CASS (including Institute of American Studies, Institute of political science, Institute of Sociology), National Society of Taiwan Studies, China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, China Institute of International Studies, China Reform Forum, etc. In addition to discussing the Taiwan issue, Sino-US relationship is another hot topic throughout the four-day academic exchanges, as a result of NATO’s bombing of Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia three weeks earlier. The group also visited Luo Haocai, vice president of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Zhu Xun, Chairman of Committee for Liaison with Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Overseas Chinese under CPPCC, Sun Yafu, vice president of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, and Chen Mingming, Deputy Director-General, Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Luo Haocai gave an introduction of CPPCC’s nature and function in China (For detail see reportage by Li Kun, New Chinese News Agency, June 1, 1999). Sun Yafu’s and Chen Minmin’s explanations of Beijing’s policies toward the US and Taiwan were also informative.
Mr. Lee Huan (second from right) presenting his newly published books to Xiaobo Hu, Zhan Gao, Gang Lin and Weixing Chen (from left to right) at Pacific Cultural Foundation.
ACPS group meeting with Mr. Chiao Ren-Ho (seventh from right) at Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission.
Weixing Chen, Gang Lin and Xiaobo Hu (from left to right) meeting with Dr. Wu An-chia (second from left) at Mainland Affairs Council.
Meeting with Mr. Shi Hwei-yow (second from right) at Straits Exchange Foundation.
Gang Lin presenting a lively horse to CRA President Mah Soo-Lay (middle) in the farewell meeting. Standing on the right is Dr. Ming Chu-cheng, Depute Secretary General of CRA. In Chinese, Mah and horse are the same word. ACPS appreciates CRA’s sponsorship of the Taiwan trip. ACPS also wishes Mr. Mah a good health and hope he will continue to promote cross-Strait exchanges as an old hand with a good guide (lao3 ma3 shi2 tu2 in C hinese).
ACPS group members Zhidong Hao (far left), Tiande Wang (third from left), Weixing Chen (fourth from left), Xiaobo Hu (sixth from left), Gang Lin (fifth from right) and Yang Zhong (second from right) meeting with Mr. Luo Haocai (sixth from right); Mr. Zhu Xun (fourth from right); Mr. Zhang Guoxiang (fifth from left), vice secretary-general of CPPCC; Mr. He Tian Fa (third from right), member of Standing Committee of All China Committee of CPPCC; Mr. Le Meizhen (second from left), director of Liaison Office of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao Compatriot and Overseas Chinese Affairs of CPPCC; and Prof. Xu Shiquan (far right), President of Institute of Taiwan Studies, CASS.
Meeting with Mr. Luo Haocai (second from right) and Mr. Zhu Xun (far right)
Meeting with Mr. Chen Minmin (third from right), from left to right, Xiaobo Hu, Yang Zhong, Gang Lin, Tiande Wang and Zhidong Hao at Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meeting with Mr. Sun Ya-fu (middle) at Beijing Hotel.