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July 28, 2017

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Hsieh upbeat on more cross-strait interaction

By Enru Lin--Former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was upbeat about future cross-strait interactions yesterday just after wrapping up his"trailblazing" China trip.

Last week, Hsieh became the most senior member of the DPP to visit mainland China. During his stay, Hsieh sat down with China's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi (王毅), Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (戴秉國).

After landing in Taoyuan yesterday, a beaming Hsieh told reporters that he will use his observations to direct his party's future. "Taiwan is not going to disappear just because we interact with China. Taiwan will only disappear if we fail to improve and our economy collapses," he said.

Hsieh said he will speak with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang before this Wednesday's Central Standing Committee meeting.

No Pressure, No Tiny Shoes

"Society will have different views toward this trailblazing trip, but we have a saying: 'Sowers look at harvests, politicians look at results.' If we look at the results, this trip has exceeded our expectations," he said.

Earlier Monday in Beijing, Hsieh also had a positive appraisal of his stay: He had not felt "used," "pressured toward reunification" or "forced into too-small shoes" (被穿小鞋), a Chinese neologism that means being given a hard time.

"Before traveling to China, many people in Taiwan were worried that I would be used, or that I would be forced into too-small shoes, or that I would be pressured toward reunification. But these situations did not arise," he said just before his return flight.

"For our part, we didn't come to China with any preconceptions."

In Beijing, Hsieh also said that his meetings with high-ranking Chinese officials were "unintentional."

"I hadn't meant to meet anyone in particular. At the outset I intended only to attend the international bartending competition, but because the public concern and attention was as great as it was, I didn't rule out the idea of meeting mainland Chinese political figures," said Hsieh.

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