Frank Hsieh wraps up visit to US to promote initiatives

PR CAMPAIGN::Hsieh’s office said that the former premier was considering organizing a cross-strait forum in Taiwan aimed at improving bilateral ties

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Jan 07, 2013 - Page 3

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) is to conclude his three-week visit to the US to promote his initiative of “constitutions with different interpretations” (憲法各表) and return to Taiwan today, Hsieh’s office said yesterday.

Hsieh, who has focused on cross-strait relations since making a landmark visit to China in October last year, championed promoting bilateral ties through private forums during a visit to the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies on Friday, the office said in a press release.

John Lie, a sociology professor at the institute, proposed that such forums could be organized by neutral institutions and include academics from Japan, South Korea and the US so that a diverse spectrum of views would be heard and Taiwan could avoid the issue of nomenclature in such a multilateral setting, the former premier’s office said.

Hsieh was reportedly mulling organizing a cross-strait forum in Taiwan later this year.

In terms of the competition in “cultural impact” waged between Taiwan and China over US academics, the professor said that most foreign China experts under the age of 45 had studied in China and tended to be more familiar with the authoritative Zhonghua culture (中華文化), but that older experts tended to be more pro-Taiwan, the office said.

Hsieh spoke to the Taiwanese community in Cupertino, California, on Friday evening about his initiative in the last public appearance of his visit, the office said.

Asked about the possibility of him making second trip to Beijing, Hsieh said he has been listening to people’s opinions about his first trip and “there was no timetable as to when the second trip would take place,” his office said.