Alexa

Shanghai Mayor kicks off visit to Taiwan amid sporadic protests

Shanghai Mayor kicks off visit to Taiwan amid sporadic protests

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng started his first-ever visit to Taiwan in the capital Tuesday amid sporadic protests by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
The communist official, whose main aim is to promote this year’s Shanghai World Expo, arrived at Taipei Songshan Airport in the morning at the head of a 200-member delegation.
He delivered a speech at a cities forum with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin. The two mayors also signed four cooperation memorandums about exchanges in the domains of culture, travel, science parks and environmental protection.
A visit to the Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Girls High School focused on the World Expo and on Taipei’s plans for an International Flora Expo, which kicks off in November.
Han was met on several occasions by DPP protesters who held up placards against government plans for an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China. At the airport, opposition election candidates said they wanted to show Han how it was possible in Taiwan to express opinions freely.
Protesters from the DPP and from Hong Kong democracy organizations had rented rooms at the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel, where Han is staying, and suspended protest banners which were rapidly removed by staff, reports said.
Before a meeting between Han and ruling Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Lien Chan, police pulled a man away who complained about security measures, reports said.
Later, security staff also stopped an unidentified woman from entering the venue of the cities forum. She claimed she was a reporter but could not provide identification, cable television reports said. It was unclear whether she was planning to protest against Han.
There was speculation the mayor would offer direct flights between Songshan and Shanghai’s recently renovated Hongqiao Airport as a “present” to Taipei. The Civil Aeronautics Administration said it had no knowledge of such a plan.
On Wednesday, Han is scheduled to take the Mass Rapid Transit system and visit the National Palace Museum, a garbage incinerator in the Beitou District, Taipei 101 and a nearby bookstore.
On Thursday morning he will visit the Cheng Hsin General Hospital, where he will meet its chairwoman, Cecilia Koo, the widow of long-time cross-straits negotiator C.F. Koo.
Before leaving Taiwan Friday, Han will also visit Taichung City, Taoyuan County and Taipei County.


Updated : 2020-12-05 05:15 GMT+08:00