Wed, Dec 10, 2014 - Page 1 News List

ARATS Chairman Chen arrives for visit

Staff writer, with CNA

Airport police officers yesterday prevent Taiwan Solidarity Union member Chang Chao-lin from entering Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport’s Terminal 2 in Taoyuan as China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Deming arrived for an eight-day visit.

Photo: Lin Tsu-hsiang, Taipei Times

China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) arrived for an eight-day visit yesterday, the first senior Chinese official to visit since the nine-in-one elections.

Arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport amid tight security, Chen was greeted by a small group of protesters, as well as a welcoming party.

The protesters, mostly members of the Taiwan Solidarity Union and Falun Gung practicioners, shoved and pushed police while attempting to force their way into the terminal. No one was injured or arrested.

“Chen Deming, crawl back to China” and “Communist bandit, crawl back to China” read two of their signs.

About 150 police officers had been deployed to ensure the safety of Chen and his delegation.

Chen told waiting reporters that he would use the opportunity to take a look at some places and meet with some friends who he did not have time to see during his previous visit in February for a round of official talks with the Straits Exchange Foundation.

He said his visits would mainly focus on Taiwan’s agricultural, biotechnology, tourism and senior citizen welfare sectors.

Chen toured Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) and a rental complex built by Chang Gung for senior citizens in Taoyuan County later in the day.

The delegation’s trip marks the first visit by Chinese officials responsible for cross-strait relations since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) suffered heavy losses in the Nov. 29 elections.

Chen’s counterpart, foundation Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森), hosted a dinner in honor of the delegation last night.

At the reception, both Chen and Lin expressed hopes that both sides of the Taiwan Strait can continue negotiations on signing a trade in goods agreement, along with other issues to facilitate cross-strait people-to-people exchanges.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan and AFP

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