In what has become a routine practice at each round of cross-strait negotiations in Taiwan, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and various civic groups plan to stage a series of protests over the arrival of Chinese officials.
China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) is scheduled to arrive today for the eighth round of high-level talks between Taiwan and China that start tomorrow in Taipei. The two sides are expected to seal a long-stalled investment protection agreement and a customs cooperation pact.
While each group plans protests for their own reasons, they have all promised to shadow Chen during his three-day stay.
The TSU, which has staged protests in every round of negotiations in Taipei, said it would organize a demonstration outside the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) building in Taipei’s Dazhi District (大直), where Chen is expected to visit after his arrival.
A protest initiated by the Southern Taiwan Society is set to take place at about the same time in the same location.
An alliance of civic groups — including the Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist Corps, the Taiwan Friends of Tibet and the Victims of Investment in China Association — have organized a protest in Shilin District (士林) to call for democracy in China, the immediate release of Bruce Chung (鍾鼎邦) — a Taiwanese who has been detained in China for more than 50 days — and Beijing’s respect for Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Teresa Chu (朱婉琪), a lawyer representing Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan, said yesterday that the practitioners plan to hold demonstrations against China’s oppression of their beliefs tomorrow and on Friday along Zhongshan N Road Sec 3, where Chen is expected to pass through.
The Democratic Progressive Party, which had launched protests during every previous round of cross-strait talks in Taiwan, said it had no plans to initiate protests this time. It will closely monitor the talks in a rational and pragmatic manner, it said.
The SEF has kept Chen’s itinerary secret to avoid protesters and said the press would receive the itinerary by text messages.