Taiwan politicians break ranks to meet with Beijing
A GROUP of opposition officials from Taiwan has bypassed the government and travelled to China on a bridgebuilding trip as relations with Beijing turn frosty under new president Tsai Ing-wen.
Observers say the meeting is a move by China to up the pressure on Ms Tsai and an attempt to woo a public wary of closer ties with Beijing.
China has severed all official communication with Beijing sceptic Ms Tsai and her new Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, which came to power after a landslide victory in January over the Kuomintang (KMT).
Although Taiwan is self-governing, Beijing still sees the island as part of its territory to be reunified.
But Ms Tsai has refused to acknowledge the concept that there is only “one China” – a precondition Beijing says is necessary for cross-strait dialogue to resume.
The delegation of eight local-level chiefs who met a senior Beijing official on September 18 back the one China concept.
Following the meeting, China promised to promote agricultural trade, technology and tourism with those counties that had sent representatives. Six of the delegates were from the KMT and two were independents.
Taiwan’s presidential office was not informed in advance of the delegation’s trip, spokesperson Alex Huang told AFP, adding that prior notification is not required by law.