Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) on Wednesday said he would pay a call on blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (陳光誠) in New York today to invite him to visit Taiwan.
Lin, who has been in Florida to observe the Republican National Convention, said he hoped his meeting with Chen would pave the way for the activist to visit Taiwan by the end of the year.
Addressing concerns that a trip to Taiwan by a controversial public figure might affect ties with China, Lin said it should be viewed as a regular visit rather than a political one.
Chen, now a visiting scholar at New York University, is free to travel around the world and will be assisted by Taiwanese civic groups to complete all the required procedures, Lin said.
Lin said he did not want the Chinese civil rights lawyer’s visit to be seen as linked to any particular political party, but simply as a civil matter.
Before his departure, Lin said, he informed the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), as well as other parties, of Chen’s interest in visiting Taiwan, in the hope they could all help to make the trip less politically sensitive.
Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) will join Lin in meeting with Chen to discuss details of the proposed trip.
In April, Chen escaped house arrest and fled to the US embassy in Beijing. After negotiations with the Chinese government, he left the embassy for medical treatment in early May and on May 19, Chen, his wife and their two children were granted US visas and left for New York City.