Yunlin will top China’s list when it comes to purchasing agricultural products from Taiwan, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) said yesterday.
“Yunlin loves Yunlin,” he told the people welcoming him at the balloon-decorated gate of the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology before he attended a meeting with local farmers.
Hsieh Shu-ya (謝淑亞), director of the Yunlin Farmers’ Association, told reporters after the closed-door meeting that because the county was the biggest producer of agricultural products in Taiwan, the association hoped to see a -purchasing center established there.
“We welcome Chen Yunlin to Yunlin,” she said. “With the establishment of the center, we hope to see the spring of the agricultural industry across the Taiwan Strait.”
Tom Su (蘇俊豪), general manager of Taiwan Farmer United Logistics Corp, made some recommendations for how to solve what he called the problems that exporters of Taiwanese agricultural products faced when sending their goods to China.
Chen, however, was noncommittal to all the proposals. The Chinese envoy emphasized that he heard what they said and that Taiwan and China were “brothers who come from the same blood.”
Lin Feng-yi (林豐儀), chairman of Yunlin Farmers Association, said the association planned to present a comprehensive proposal to -ARATS within two months.
Lin Jin-chung (林金忠), a secretary of Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-feng (蘇治芬), protested inside the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology after Chen came out of the meeting.
“Taiwan and China, each side is a [separate] country,” he yelled.
“Taiwan and China are two different countries and cooperation will only benefit people if it is country-to-country,” he later said of the purpose of his protest.
“While Chen should have respected Taiwan’s sovereignty, he announced during his stay that he crossed the Jhuoshui River (濁水溪),” he said, referring to the river that is generally regarded as the boundary demarcating Taiwan’s northern and southern regions.
While the north is perceived as more sympathetic toward the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the central and southern Taiwan areas support the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Lin Jin-chung said Su Chih-feng of the DPP knew nothing about his protest beforehand. Although he had obtained a pass issued by the organizer, he was denied access to the closed-door meeting because the organizer said his pass was not stamped, he said.
Commenting on Lin Jin-chung’s protest, Lin Feng-yi said it was -unnecessary because Chen’s visit was business in nature. Although they did not invite Su Chih-feng to yesterday’s meeting with local farmers, Lin Feng-yi said he did not think she would oppose. Su Chih-feng traveled to New Zealand on Tuesday, which has been perceived by some as a way to avoid the controversy.
“Chen is not here to sign any political agreements, but to help our farmers,” Lin Feng-yi said.
Chen traveled back to Taipei later yesterday to attend a dinner banquet hosted by former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰). Chen is to dine with former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) today before returning to China early tomorrow morning.