Taiwan's pro-reunification Labor Party has strongly condemned Taiwan authorities for obstructing an island-based foundation from inviting Chinese mainland university students for an exchange program in Taiwan.
The Ma Ying-jeou Foundation said on Thursday that it is planning to invite 50 college students from the mainland to visit the island in July for communication. Taiwan authorities rejected the plan claiming that it lacked importance and urgency.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Labor Party criticized the island's decision as being unfounded and against the principles of peaceful cross-Strait exchange.
The party condemned the Democratic Progressive Party for attempting to obstruct various kinds of cross-Strait interactions, including preventing mainland tourists from visiting Taiwan, and Taiwan young people to visit the mainland.
"This reveals that the DPP is fearful that more cross-Strait exchanges will expose the lies they have made to stigmatize the mainland," it said.
The party said if the exchange activity can proceed smoothly, it will help ease the tense situation between the two sides and facilitate deeper interactions and understanding between young people from Taiwan and the mainland.
It urged the DPP authorities to relieve the obstruction and encourage more such exchange projects for mainland students to visit Taiwan.
Ma Ying-jeou, a former leader of Taiwan, led a group of Taiwan students to visit the mainland in late March and early April, during which they visited historic sights and talked with mainland students. After the trip on mainland, Ma said he would invite mainland students to visit Taiwan.
According to the foundation, students from five mainland universities - Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Wuhan University and Hunan University - will be led to several Taiwan universities and engage in dialogue with their peers in the planned trip to the island.
The trip is estimated to last for nine days and will include stops at some well-known scenic spots and relic sites on the island, said the foundation.