China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun’s (張志軍) four-day visit is to begin on Wednesday and his schedule appears to closely adhere to Beijing’s established principles for Taiwan policy, pundits said yesterday.
Zhang’s itinerary, released by the Mainland Affairs Council yesterday, focuses heavily on New Taipei City and Greater Kaohsiung.
He will pay a short visit to Greater Taichung the day before his return.
The schedule mirrors China’s policy of focusing efforts on changing the views of the so-called “three-middles and the youth” — the mid-to-low-level income class, residents of central and southern Taiwan, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well young people.
With Zhang previously saying that he does not rule out meeting with young Taiwanese, student activist leader Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) yesterday said he was officially extending an invitation to Zhang to meet with various groups to debate whether “Taiwan’s future should be decided by its 23 million citizens.”
Chinese spokespeople have recently reiterated that the future of Taiwan should be decided by all Chinese, including Taiwanese, while Taiwanese say their nation’s future should be decided by them.
Zhang is due to arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 11:45am on Wednesday and will meet Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) at 3pm, the council said.
He will stay overnight at the Fushin Hotel in New Taipei City and is to spend all of Thursday in the special municipality, visiting townships and boroughs in Sijhih (汐止), meeting a Chinese woman, Zhang Lixiang (張禮香), who is married to a Taiwanese man, then meeting Aborigines in Wulai District (烏來).
Zhang is to visit Vigor Kobo, a cake store in Wugu District (五股), in the afternoon as well as some small and medium-sized industries, before meeting New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and then meeting with academics at 7pm, the council said.
Zhang will visit Greater Kaohsiung on Friday, with a two-hour meeting with Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Cu (陳菊) scheduled to begin at 9am. He is to then head to Siaolin Village (小林), which was hit by landslides during Typhoon Morakot in 2009, according to the itinerary.
He will meet some papaya farmers in the afternoon and visit Fo Guang Shan (佛光山) as well as I-Shou University, where he is to meet students in the school cafeteria, the council said.
Wang and Zhang are scheduled to meet again at 6pm, the council said.
Zhang is expected to stay at the Grand Hotel Kaohsiung overnight and visit Cianjhen Township (前鎮) fishing port on Saturday morning, before leaving for Greater Taichung, where he will have lunch with Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) at 11:30am.
He will then visit the Matsu Temple in Changhua County’s Lugang Township (鹿港) for a ceremony marking the installation of a statue of Matsu, which is a gift from the Taiwan Affairs Office.
Zhang is scheduled to return to Beijing on a 6:25pm China Airlines flight on Saturday, the council said.