The office of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday denied a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker’s comment that Tsai will visit China next month, saying that the speculation was “baseless.”
In a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee yesterday, KMT lawmaker Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), a confidant of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), said Tsai’s visit to Beijing, scheduled for the middle of next month, had been approved by Chinese officials.
Tsai’s office immediately issued a statement to refute that claim.
“There are no plans for such a visit. The KMT should not have used the false claim to shift the focus away from the current political strife as Ma should apologize to the people of Taiwan for the constitutional crisis he has created,” the statement said.
Wu said Tsai had contacted Beijing via a senior democracy advocate and received approval from the Chinese, but pushed back the plan to attend a seminar with the theme of economic affairs as an economist from about Oct. 10 to next month.
Politicians who are close to Tsai criticized Wu for making the comment, with DPP lawmaker Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) saying that while Beijing had increased its contact with green camp politicians, Tsai has taken her time in arranging a visit to China.
“So far, there is no substantial plan and the office has not received any invitation [from Beijing],” Chen said.
The DPP’s New Taipei City (新北市) Chapter Director Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), said that the “time is not ripe” for Tsai to visit China at this moment and that there could be a hidden agenda behind Wu’s comment.
“I suspect that Wu was trying to shift the focus away from Ma’s poor governance and to create tension between Tsai and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌),” Lo said.