Wed, May 18, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Hsiao Bi-khim denounces Chinese antics at LI meet

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials' difficulties in participating in the annual Liberal International (LI) congress was more evidence that China is blocking Taiwan's international space, Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), the director of the party's Department of International Affairs, said yesterday.

In a news conference yesterday afternoon, Hsiao denounced China's suppression of the DPP's attendance at LI's annual congress in Bulgaria last week.

According to Hsiao, Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun was to have represented Taiwan and the DPP at the congress, held from May 12 to May 14.

However, because of Beijing's pressure, Yu could not make the trip to Bulgaria.

Therefore, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who was busy with the National Assembly elections, appointed Hsiao to go to Bulgaria on behalf of the party.

She was accompanied by the director of the DPP's Department of Woman's Development, Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青), and DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津).

All three were forbidden from using their titles as DPP officials when applying for their Bulgarian visas, Hsiao said.

She said they were also followed throughout their visit to Bulgaria by two unidentified persons sent by the Chinese embassy in Sofia.

These two people even tried to physically block her from attending the LI congress, she said.

Hsiao was elected as LI's vice president during the congress -- an event she described as the biggest accomplishment of her participation in the congress.

Liberal International is a federation of liberal political parties from around the world. It was established in 1947.

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