Tue, Jun 10, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Chen Chu will not insist on leading delegation to China

ONLY AS MAYOR Chen said she had not applied to the Mainland Affairs Council for permission to travel to an upcoming tourism expo in Beijing as it would be 'difficult'

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu, right, tastes a dish made by "A-Mao," the winner of the municipal applied skills competition for junior high schools, at a press conference in Kaohsiung yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) of the Democratic Progressive Party said yesterday that she would not insist on leading a tourism marketing delegation to China if her application to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) would pose a challenge.

Chen, who had expressed the intention to lead a delegation to the upcoming international tourism expo in Beijing, said she had not submitted any application to the MAC.

“I know the application would be difficult. Why bother?” she said when approached for comment.

Chen said although she was willing to do anything to benefit the city and wanted to attend the fair as Kaohsiung mayor, she respected the nation’s laws concerning government chiefs’ visiting China.

Under existing law, local government heads’ travel plans to China require prior approval from the MAC.

On Thursday MAC Vice Chairman Chang Liang-jen (張良任) said that the council would deal with applications from government chiefs in accordance with the law.

Chen yesterday reiterated her insistence that if she attended the event it would be in her capacity as mayor, on a principle of reciprocity and dignity.

Among the senior city government officials who plan to join the delegation, Director-General of the Economic Affairs Bureau Liu Hsin-cheng (劉馨正) has already obtained permission from the MAC.

The delegation, composed primarily of representatives of the city’s tourism industry, will leave for Beijing on June 19.

An increasing number of local city and county chiefs have been planning to visit China since the May 20 inauguration of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration, which is seeking to build closer trade ties with China.

Kinmen County Commissioner Lee Chu-feng (李炷烽) last week visited China in his capacity as a shareholder of Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc to attend an earthquake relief fund raising event after the MAC had originally rejected his application.

Lee said on Sunday that he would like to visit China again.

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