Tue, Jun 16, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Chen Chu willing to visit China again, report says

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said yesterday she would visit China again if she had the opportunity.

“[I] will go if I have the chance, but I have no idea when that may be,” Chen was quoted as saying during an interview published in Singapore's "Lianhe Zaobao" yesterday.

Chen has drawn criticism from a number of independence groups for her trip to Shanghai and Beijing late last month to promote the upcoming World Games in Kaohsiung.

The Taiwan Southern Society, the Taiwan Society Hakka and other groups have threatened to boycott her re-election bid next year as a result of the trip.

But Chen defended herself during the interview, saying that interactions between countries should all be “natural” and “normalized” since Taiwan is a member of the “global village.”

“We [city government officials] have set foot in many nations around the world. We will never exclude China,” she was quoted as saying.

She said it would be impossible for her to change her political stance after a three-day visit.

Chen was quoted as saying that the Chinese government would never be able to hear different voices and mainstream public opinions in Taiwan if China only interacts with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Chen said Beijing should spend more time understanding the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) viewpoints.

“Whether you like it or not, it [the DPP] still represents the opinion of about 40 percent of the people [in Taiwan],” she was quoted as saying.

Separately, Kaohsiung City Government yesterday held a drill at a hotel to simulate the transfer of patients who were found to have fever during the games.

Chen said the city had set up standard operating procedures by having hotel staff report such cases to the Centers for Disease Control and the A(H1N1) Command Center of the games, dispatching ambulances to take the patients to designated hospitals for screening and to have doctors determine whether they need to be quarantined.

Chen said the city government had designated 10 regional hospitals, which can accommodate as many as 100 quarantined patients, as the city government prepares for the games.

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