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PFP chair James Soong to visit Beijing

TAIPEI--People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong is scheduled to visit Beijing May 6 for a book launch organized by Peking University Press.

Soong, who served as the first elected governor of Taiwan Province, will lead a delegation of PFP officials at the invitation of “the mainland Chinese side,” the minor opposition party said in a press release on its website.

The book being launched is entitled “How to Write Academic Dissertations” (Ru He Xie Xue Shu Lun Wen), according to the statement. The book shares a title with one published by Soong in 1978, though the statement did not expressly identify Soong as the new publication's author.

The PFP could not be reached for comment.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang confirmed the visit in a press release on the TAO website, saying that Soong and his delegation will visit May 6-9.

Ma did not detail Soong's itinerary, simply expressing wishes for a successful and smooth visit to Beijing.

Soong, 72, has visited China many times since 2005. He is the founder of the PFP, part of the pan-blue coalition of parties that includes the ruling Kuomintang (KMT).

Soong was the first and only elected Taiwan Province governor from 1994 to 1998, when the post was scrapped. He ran for president in 2000 and again in 2012, and ran for vice president alongside the KMT's Lien Chan in 2004.

The PFP holds two seats in the 113-seat Legislative Yuan.

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