Lien trip starts off with protests, TAO welcome
Lien visit sends wrong message, is against social perceptions: Tsai
Former Vice President Lien Chan ( ) was welcomed by Zhang Zhijun ( ) , head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office ( TAO, ) yesterday upon his arrival at the Beijing Hotel.
Lien is scheduled to visit the Diaoyutai State Guest House today to meet with Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Accompanying Lien to the hotel was his wife, Lien Fangyu ( ), New Party Chairman Yu Mu- ming ( ) , former Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Lin Feng-cheng ( ), and Ting Yuan-chao ( ), the director of Lien’s office.
Lien’s aide Chang Jung-kung ( ) bore the brunt of protests prior to the trip, which is to include talks with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping (
) and attendance at a mainland military parade.
Press representatives and protesters surrounded Chang in a terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, as Lien did not take part in interviews before boarding the plane that would take him and his team to China.
A protester draped a banner with slogans printed on it over Chang, while another protester threw a shoe at the aide. The shoe did not injure Chang.
Chang strove to emphasize the main points that Lien will cover in talks with Xi: “reciprocity and dignity.”
“The commemoration parade is an important event for the Chinese nation, and is also held at the international level” Chang said. “We will make appropriate statements at the event.”
“China has its own historical account of the war against the Japanese forces in World War II. Dialogue would be a better approach than releasing opposing statements,” Chang stated.
Responding to President Ma’s disapproval, which was expressed yesterday, Chang maintained that “both sides could achieve the same goals,” to empower Taiwan, “but through different methods.”
The military parade, which Lien will attend on Sept. 3, is held in celebration of the end of World War II. Lien will also meet with Xi on Sept. 1.
The Wrong Message: Tsai
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate and Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (
) stated her own disapproval of Lien’s attendance at China’s military parade during an election rally event held by her supporters in the dentistry industry.
“It goes against the Taiwanese people’s social perceptions,” Tsai said, denouncing the former Republic of China vice president for his actions. She also stated how Lien’s attendance could send the “wrong messages” to other countries.
Citing the differing interpretation of historical events between the mainland and Taiwan as the main reason for the debate over attending China’s commemoration parade, Tsai also stated that mainland China has yet to give up the threat of military action against Taiwan.
Apart from holding the military parade event, the DPP presiden- tial hopeful also implored China to heed neighboring Asian countries’ expectations of regional peace and security.
Tsai expressed her hopes of seeing China realize that all countries in the region should “take the responsibility” for safety and peace.
KMT Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu ( ) side- stepped DPP New Taipei City councillors’ questions over how the KMT lacked “aggressive methods” to stop Lien attending the military parade.
Chu simply rebuffed the questions, asking “Do I have to respond to each councillor’s statements?”
Former Vice President Lien Chan ( ), left, is greeted by Zhang Zhijun (
), head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office ( ), in Beijing, yesterday. Lien will stress the principles of reciprocity and dignity during his trip to the mainland, a Lien aide said.