China respectful to mayor: ex-DPP lawmaker
CNATAIPEI--The Chinese authorities showed goodwill to Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu during her recent trip to China, according to members of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
August 18, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The atmosphere was different to her last visit, said former DPP lawmaker Lin Cho-shui, who noted that Beijing is clear on its stance about interactions with DPP personnel.
The Chinese authorities are fine with receiving DPP personnel, no matter if they visit in their capacities as government officials or as party officials, but the time for direct interaction between the DPP and the Communist Party of China (CPC) has not yet come, Lin said.
Chen visited China Aug. 9-14 to promote the 2013 Asia-Pacific Cities Summit (APCS) to be held in her southern port city Sept. 9-11.
According to Tung Chen-yuan, chairman of the Graduate Institute of Development Studies at Taiwan's National Chengchi University, Beijing was reserved about Chen during her last visit, as she used the term “President Ma Ying-joeu” when she was in China to promote the 2009 World Games hosted by Kaohsiung.
The situation became worse after Chen returned from China in 2009, when Kaohsiung screened a documentary by Chinese dissident Rebiya Kadeer during a film festival in the city, said Tung, who served as the deputy head of the Mainland Affairs Council under the previous DPP administration.
In fact, the DPP was planning to invite Kadeer to visit Taiwan in 2009, but her visa application was rejected.
With five Chinese cities expressing intent to take part in the summit when Chen was promoting the event in China, Tung said it showed goodwill from Beijing.
The goodwill was also evident in China's Taiwan Affairs Office chief Zhang Zhijun traveling to Tianjin to meet with Chen, Tung added.
However, Tung said the Chinese authorities' interactions with DPP members will remain at the individual level and there will be no progress on direct ties between the DPP and the CPC unless the DPP adjusts its policies on China or regains power.
Meanwhile, Lo Chih-cheng, head of the DPP's New Taipei branch, said that although the atmosphere during Chen's recent visit to China was friendly, the results should be determined by the number of Chinese cities that actually attend the APCS summit in September.