A visit by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to the US’ east coast has been marred by sporadic protests.
Chilly Chen (陳峻涵), the director of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign who was detained by police for throwing plastic slippers at Ko at Taipei Railway Station in June last year, was reportedly on the same flight to the US as Ko and has protested against the mayor at various public events.
At a talk with Taiwanese students in New York on Sunday, Ko also faced a protest from a student surnamed Chang (張), who claimed to have supported Ko in the 2014 mayoral election.
Chang suddenly up a handwritten sign that read: “I am a Taiwanese, but I do not support [Ko’s statement that] ‘both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family,’” as the students took a photograph with the mayor.
On Monday, Ko visited the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York and gave a speech along with National Taiwan University public health professor Chan Chang-chuan (詹長權) on Taipei’s sustainable development.
However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩), who accompanied Ko on the trip, wrote on Facebook that Chan provided misleading information about the power generated by solar panels in Taipei’s Fudekeng Environmental Restoration Park (福德坑復育公園).
Wang also criticized Ko, saying that he has exaggerated his administrative achievements.
Taiwanese media in New York City reported that Ko had been seemingly “rejected” by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and former American Institute in Taiwan chairman Raymond Burghardt, who all refused to meet with him.
Taipei City Government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) said in New York City that a meeting with De Blasio was never in the finalized itinerary, so it was not “canceled,” and that a meeting with the National Committee on American Foreign Policy was not an public event, so the city government did not reveal who Ko would meet.
Additional reporting by CNA
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