Taiwan opposition leader visits Singapore: Reports

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang was likely to meet both former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a visit to the city-state, reports said Tuesday.
According to the Chinese-language United Evening News, Su arrived in Singapore on Monday in the company of the opposition party’s top policy official, Joseph Wu, and of its chief of international affairs, Liu Shih-tsung.
Singapore has official diplomatic relations with Beijing but it has often closely cooperated with Taiwan, sending its military for training to the island and facilitating cross-straits negotiations.
The DPP was unwilling to confirm that its chairman was traveling overseas, only saying he had no public schedule for these few days, the United Evening News reported.
According to the paper, Su met the elder Lee, 89, at least four times over the past decade and also knows several senior Singaporean government officials. The DPP leader reportedly established frequent contacts when he served as Taipei County magistrate. At the time, he was primarily interested in the administration of the city-state and in its survival as an independent nation, the paper wrote.
Su might also be seeking assistance from Singapore to arrange a meeting with representatives of China, the United Evening News speculated.
Su was scheduled to arrive back in Taiwan on Wednesday afternoon after his party’s regular weekly Central Standing Committee meeting. Counter to previous practice, he had reportedly not appointed anybody to chair the meeting in his place.
The DPP leader’s secretive trip reportedly fitted in a long campaign of foreign travel, including a visit to Japan earlier this year, and plans to South Korea and the United States during the first half of 2013 and to Europe and Southeast Asia later in the year.
He was expected to attend the official opening of the DPP’s office in Washington, D.C., which will have Wu as the party representative in the US.
Former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen has also traveled overseas, visiting Indonesia last month. Her aides were reportedly unwilling to reveal whom she met during the visit in order not to embarrass the country, an official ally of China. The list reportedly included officials who might play a senior role in future governments.
Tsai’s aides criticized President Ma Ying-jeou for barely paying attention to Indonesia and to other Southeast Asian nations, where competitors South Korea and Japan were hard at work as investors.