Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) left for Shanghai yesterday for a week-long visit to China, becoming the latest high-profile DPP politician to test the waters for possible dialogue between the party and Beijing.
Hsu said before his departure that he would hold talks with Chinese academics and visit financial regulatory institutions in Shanghai, Beijing and Xiamen before returning home on Sunday. He declined to reveal his itinerary in detail or confirm if he would meet with Chinese officials during the visit.
A former Tainan mayor, Hsu said he would focus on urban development planning in his first stop in Shanghai because Taiwan’s major cities would have to improve their competitiveness amid intense global competition.
The landmark China trip in October last year of former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), the first high-ranking DPP official to visit China in the past decade, had a mixed reception within the party. Hsu’s trip has also raised eyebrows, primarily because he has been a staunch Taiwan independence supporter and hails from Guantian District (官田), Greater Tainan, the hometown of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
Hsu is scheduled to visit Beijing on Wednesday and arrive in Xiamen on Friday, before visiting Quanzhou, where he will visit the Koxinga Temple. Chinese officials visited Tainan to collaborate on the Koxinga Culture Festival when he served as mayor.
In Xiamen, one of the main experimental cities of the Western Taiwan Strait Economic Zone, Hsu is scheduled to meet with Taiwanese businesspeople and exchange opinions on cross-strait economic development.