Student activist Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) said that China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) should learn to be a good guest in response to politicians who said the protests Zhang saw were “not the Taiwanese way of treating a guest.”
Zhang arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday last week, the first ministerial-level official from the People’s Republic of China to visit the nation.
Protesters shadowed him during his stay, which ended on Saturday.
On Friday evening in Greater Kaohsiung, protesters splashed white paint on Zhang’s motorcade as he was heading to a seaside resort for a meeting with Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦).
The incident prompted the cancelation of three planned events the following day over security concerns. Zhang headed directly to the airport after a meeting with Greater Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) at noon on Saturday.
Following the incident, the council, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) said the protests were “not the Taiwanese way.”
Responding to the criticism, Lin said on Facebook that normally Taiwanese are welcoming and would not say anything bad to a guest, but this only applies to a “normal” guest who respects the host.
“Those who care about how a guest is treated should think about whether the ‘guest’ is really worthy of being called a ‘guest,’” Lin said.
He said Zhang did not retract comments made by TAO officials that the future of Taiwan should be decided by all Chinese, which created an uproar among the public. In addition, Zhang insisted on talking with the council on controversial issues, such as setting up mutual representative offices, Lin said.
“Zhang is a ‘guest’ who does not respect the host and who came with malicious intentions,” Lin said.
While condemning the council and KMT officials, Lin said he is equally disappointed by Democratic Progressive Party officials, notably Chen, as the meeting between the Kaohsiung mayor and Zhang proceeded behind closed doors, with Chen condemning the protesters.
“I am not opposed to cross-strait dialogue, negotiation and talks, but those should be done under a clear monitoring mechanism, and on a mutually equal basis,” Lin said.
“Maybe we should be more concerned about how we should define a ‘guest,’ and how we should deal with a bad guest who appears to be nice and friendly,” he said.