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Human Rights & Social Issues

Top China official met by protests in Taiwan, called “communist bandit”


Falun Gong members take part in a protest as Zhang Zhijun, director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, visits the labour activity centre in New Taipei City, June 26, 2014

Falun Gong members take part in a protest as Zhang Zhijun, director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, visits the labour activity centre in New Taipei City, June 26, 2014

China’s top official in charge of relations with self-ruled Taiwan said on Friday that he understood and respected the choices of its people, as he was met by noisy protests in the traditionally anti-China far south of the island.

Zhang Zhijun, director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, is making the first trip by the head of the body to Taiwan, a visit marked by a highly unusual meeting with an opposition party stalwart and mayor of the pro-independence southern port of Kaohsiung, Chen Chu.

Protesters waved placards deriding Zhang as a “communist bandit”.

Zhang’s unusual charm offensive in Taiwan stands in contrast to China’s ties with several countries in Asia where territorial rows have flared over maritime boundaries. China has also denounced people in the former British colony of Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997, for pushing for greater democracy.

While Chen has previously visited China and met Zhang there, spearheading efforts by the Democratic Progressive Party to engage with Beijing, high-level meetings in Taiwan with opposition figures are almost unheard of.

“We know that Taiwan people cherish very much the social system and the life style they have chosen,” Zhang said after meeting Chen. “We in mainland China respect what Taiwanese people have chosen.”

China welcomes people from all parties to help improve relations across the Taiwan Strait, Zhang added, calling his talks with Chen “pleasant”.

China claims Taiwan as its own, to be taken by force if necessary, though the two have been ruled separately since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island in 1949 at the end of the Chinese civil war with the Communists. China says it will not countenance a de jure independent Taiwan. Many Taiwanese look with nervousness, if not fear, at China, where the ruling Communist Party remains unmoved by calls for political liberalisation. Taiwan is a freewheeling democracy after undergoing a democratic transition in the 1980s.

Taiwan’s pride in its democracy helps reinforce the unwillingness of many to be absorbed politically by China.

That sentiment is felt particularly keenly in Kaohsiung, one of the main heartlands of Taiwanese cultural identity and where, in 1979, rights activists held a pivotal rally which helped spark Taiwan’s eventual democratic transition.

“It’s been a very difficult journey that Taiwan has gone through in the past few decades,” Zhang said.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION

Chen, who was deeply involved in Taiwan’s struggle for democracy, said she explained to Zhang that the protests he may have witnessed were part of Taiwan’s political system.

“I told director Zhang that as soon as he arrived at the airport, he may have heard very different voices and protest. I said this is a very normal part of Taiwan’s democracy. I appreciate if he can understand that,” Chen said.

In 2009, China reacted angrily at plans to show a documentary about exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, a woman China labels a dangerous separatist, at the Kaohsiung film festival, sparking a boycott of the city by Chinese tourists.

Chen at the time shrugged off China’s complaints, saying it would harm Kaohsiung’s commitment to human rights if it gave in to Beijing.

Underscoring the depth of feeling in southern Taiwan, Zhang was met by hundreds of protesters at Kaohsiung’s high speed train station, some waving placards reading “Communist Zhang Zhijun, get the hell back to China”.

A much smaller group of protesters also met him when he flew into Taipei on Wednesday.

“Chen Chu should face the demands of the people and the values of human rights and refrain from the pursuit of economic growth at the expense of Taiwan’s hard-earned democratic achievements,” said Chen Yin-ting, part of another group of protesters outside the venue where Zhang and Chen met.

The once heavily industrialised Kaohsiung has lost many of its companies and factories to China, drawn away by a massive population and low manufacturing costs, and it has struggled economically in recent years.

Zhang’s trip comes at a sensitive time.

Protesters occupied Taiwan’s parliament and mounted mass demonstrations over three weeks starting in March in anger at a pending trade pact, which will open various sectors in both economies.

The opposition calls the pact a threat to Taiwan’s industry and fears it could open the door to Chinese influence on its politics.

Signed a year ago, it has stalled in Taiwan’s parliament, which is set to discuss it at a session overlapping with Zhang’s visit. Advocates, including the China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou, say it is a step to normalising ties and will provide jobs and raise living standards.

Source: Reuters “China official met by protests, says respects Taiwan’s choices”
 

 

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About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

Discussion

9 thoughts on “Top China official met by protests in Taiwan, called “communist bandit”

  1. “Top China official met by protests in Taiwan, called “communist bandit””

    The real bandits are the students who hijacked the Legislative Yuan. As long as Taiwan show herself to be a second rated democracy, she don’t have any moral rights to lecture China.

    Like

    Posted by Fre Okin | July 2, 2014, 2:23 am

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