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Sacked Taiwan cross-strait relations official says probe could damage ties with China

Published on Aug 21, 2014 7:56 PM
Mr Chang Hsien-yao, former deputy minister of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), speaking during a press conference in Taipei on August 21, 2014. One of Taiwan's top negotiators on China policy is being investigated on suspicion of leaking secrets after resigning, his superior said, in the latest political scandal to rock the island. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (Reuters) - A former Taiwan official involved in talks with mainland China until he was sacked said on Thursday any investigation into his handling of relations could damage ties with Beijing.

Mr Chang Hsien-yao, who until last week was the vice-chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's government agency responsible for cross-strait relations, has been under investigation by the council and judicial authorities over what the council said was possible wrongdoing.

Mr Chang has denied any wrongdoing, and asserted his loyalty to his duties and to the President. He told a news conference that relations with China and the mechanism for talks would be damaged because of the allegations against him. "This is a big step backward," he said.

Cross-strait relations are complex and there are many channels for contacts, both formal and informal, Chang said. There is a process and if he was suspected of doing wrong, then other officials who handle such matters may become wary about what they are doing, he said.

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