Fri, Jun 27, 2014 - Page 3 News List

CROSSING THE STRAIT: Zhang turning deaf ear to ‘real’ Taiwanese: TSU

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia satirizes China’s so-called “three middles and the youth” with a sign reading: “Three Chinas and [Chinese] youth” at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) is not hearing “the true voices of Taiwanese” as he tours the nation, but rather those of pro-China businesspeople and of Chinese spouses and students living in Taiwan, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday.

Prior to leaving on his first trip to Taiwan, Zhang said he wanted to hear what the nation’s citizens have to say, in particular those who Beijing has dubbed the “three middles and the youth (三中一青)” — residents of central and southern Taiwan; middle and low-income families; small and medium-sized enterprises; and young people.

However, TSU Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) told a press conference yesterday that judging by Zhang’s itinerary, the Chinese official will likely meet exclusively with pro-China individuals during his trip.

Lin cited as an example the TAO minister’s visit yesterday to the Vigor Kobo bakery chain’s New Taipei City outlet. Guo Guangchang (郭廣昌), chairman of the China-based Fosun Group that is Vigor Kobo’s primary investor, is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Lin said, adding that the majority of the profits earned by the bakery — which he classified as “basically a Chinese enterprise” — came from Chinese tourists.

In addition, the people sent to meet Zhang yesterday morning were mostly Chinese spouses of Taiwanese, while the official is to continue meeting Chinese when he visits cross-strait students at I-Shou University in Greater Kaohsiung today, Lin said.

The party called on the government to raise the issues of Beijing’s unilateral position on Taiwan’s future — as reflected in a TAO spokesperson’s comment earlier this month that the nation’s future should be decided by “all Chinese people” — its censorship of Internet access to several Taiwanese media outlets and its oppression of democracy in Hong Kong, Lin said.

In contrast to the Democratic Progressive Party, which has said it wold not hold any protests against Zhang’s visit, the TSU is so far keeping its promise to “shadow” Zhang wherever he goes.

Following a protest at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport held to coincide with the Chinese official’s arrival on Wednesday, the TSU also staged a protest that night at the Fullon Hotel in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水), where Zhang stayed for the night.

TSU members and supporters tried to block Zhang’s motorcade as it passed by the Taipei MRT’s Hongshulin (紅樹林) Station as he arrived at the hotel, but were immediately dispersed by police.

Dozens of protesters chanted slogans and held placards in front of the hotel and engaged in tussles several times with rival pro-China supporters, while TSU members hung a banner reading: “Taiwan’s future should be decided by the Taiwanese” from an overpass near the hotel.

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