CROSS-STRAIT TALKS: Security ramped up for Chen trip

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mon, Nov 03, 2008 - Page 3

The government has adopted heavy security measures as it gets ready for the arrival of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) today.

The police authority said some 2,000 officers will be dispatched to escort Chen and members of his delegation from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to the Grand Hotel, where the delegation is staying during its five-day visit.

About 800 police have been deployed to stations inside and outside the airport, while another 1,200 have been deployed at stations along the route that Chen and his delegation will take from the airport to the hotel. Some 800 officers have also been dispatched to guard the Grand Hotel.

Before 11am, the airport will be cleared to get ready for Chen’s arrival.

Travelers waiting to depart the airport will be taken to a controlled area, while passengers arriving at the airport will wait on their airplanes until Chen has left the airport.

Chen will be escorted and protected by 40 special forces officers wherever he goes and police will form a “human shield” around him to prevent any unexpected protests that may break out, police said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said: “The government has turned the nation into a police state and Taipei has been placed under martial law because of Chen’s visit. No to mention the waste of tax payers’ money.”

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Lee Chieng-jung (李建榮), however, disagreed.

He said yesterday that the deployment of the heavy police presence was down to the DPP, “because its supporters used violence against ARATS Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing (張銘清) during his visit to Taiwan last month.”

Following a report by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) yesterday that police had erected sharp barbed-wire fences around the hotel, the Taipei Police Department issued a statement later yesterday saying that it had removed the fences out of concern that people might get hurt.