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Taiwan invited to global gathering as guest

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-14 01:45

Taiwan has been invited to attend an international civil aviation session in Canada as a guest this month, part of the "big picture" for improved cross-Straits ties.

Yang Yi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the invitation reflects the mainland's sincerity in pushing forward peaceful development across the Straits.

"On the premise of opposition to ‘two states' and ‘one China, one Taiwan', we believe that cross-Straits exchanges can enhance mutual understanding and are good for addressing each other's concerns," Yang said at a regular news conference on Friday.

Yang was speaking after Xinhua News Agency reported that Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez, president of the International Civil Aviation Organization council, had invited Taiwan to attend the body's 38th assembly session as a guest.

A senior official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China said mainland and Taiwan authorities have exchanged views about Taiwan attending the assembly session, Xinhua reported.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said mainland authorities always pay attention to the safety of Taiwan people, promote cross-Straits civil aviation exchanges and help Taiwan receive information from international civil aviation organizations.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told China Daily that Taiwan's attendance at the meeting shows the mainland's goodwill, which is in line with the one-China policy.

The assembly session will be held in Montreal from Sept 24 to Oct 4. The ICAO assembly meets at least once every three years, according to the organization's website.

The ICAO is a UN agency with 191 member states. It arranges systematically the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport.

On July 16, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying expressed firm opposition to US legislation on Taiwan's bid to join the ICAO. US President Barack Obama signed a bill on July 12 to endorse Taiwan's attempt to join the organization as an observer member.

The US bill has seriously violated the one-China policy, Hua said.

Chen Xiancai, a researcher at the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, said Taiwan has been looking to take part in international events, and winning support from the mainland is important for the Taiwan authorities.

Edward Chen, a professor at the Graduate Institute of American Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan, said the arrangement reflects the goodwill of the mainland and will boost cross-Straits ties, China News Service reported.

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