10/30/2008, 00.00
CHINA – TAIWAN
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Beijing not objecting to Taiwan’s presence in Asia-Pacific summit

Taiwan will be represented by Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang and an old acquaintance of Hu Jintao, whom he is likely to meet. Next week Taipei is set to receive the most important official visit by a mainland delegation since 1949 in a sign of the two sides’ desire to develop greater ties.
Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang, will represent Taiwan at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum on 22-23 November in Lima, Peru. Before that a mainland delegation will travel to Taipei on 3 November to discuss improving social and economic ties.

Lien (pictured) will be able to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is favour of greater ties with Taiwan since Ma Ying-jeou became the island’s president.

Although Beijing considers Taiwan a “rebel province” and has been trying to strip the island of all diplomatic recognition, it has not expressed any objections to its presence at the Asia-Pacific summit.

Yang Yi, spokesman for the mainland’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said that Mr Lien’s choice was a “positive development” in cross-strait relations.

“Mr Lien and Mr Hu have already met five times . . .  Taiwan's participation in international affairs has taken another step forward,” Alexander Huang Chieh-cheng, a professor at Tamkang University in Taipei, told the South China Morning Post.

From 3 to 7 November Chen Yunlin, head of the mainland's Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait, will travel to the island with a 60-member delegation to discuss direct cross-Strait shipping, air transport, postal services, food safety and tourism cooperation as well as exchange views on financial cooperation to withstand the international financial crisis.

This is the highest level delegation to visit Taiwan since the island broke away from the mainland in 1949.

Some 7,000 police officers have been deployed to protect the mainland delegation.

Security concerns are high since a group of anti-Chinese activists jostled a Chinese official, Zhang Mingqing.

Following Taipei’s apology for the incident Taiwan’s Attorney General’s Office filed charges for violence causing bodily harm against Wang Ting-yu, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) councillor in southern Tainan City. He could get up to 14 months in jail.

Tainan's police chief was also demoted as a result of the incident.

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