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Politicians blast Han Kuo-yu for comments on Taiwan-China relations

The Kaohsiung mayor described the situation as 'two individuals madly in love'

Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu

Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has come under criticism from several politicians for his comments regarding the relationship between Taiwan and China.

In an interview with Mirror Media on Wednesday, Han offhandedly described Taiwan and China as “two individuals madly in love” (你儂我儂). He explained that there are both political and sentimental components to people’s attitudes towards cross-strait relations, and that the metaphor can be used to describe the “emotional” connection between both sides.

Likely anticipating ridicule, he elaborated that a number of expressions could be used to describe the relationship instead, including “two sides one family” (兩岸一家親) and “quid pro quo partners” (換手抓癢).

Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said Thursday, whether “madly in love” or “friends before marriage,” Taiwan must resolutely refuse China’s “terrorizing affection.”

The MAC representative told media that China uses violence, intimidation and threatening behavior to try and erase Taiwan’s existence in the international arena, and Beijing’s “One Country, Two Systems” proposal is an attempt to diminish the country’s significance and erase “The Republic of China” entirely. This is not the kind of behavior one would expect from a “family member” or partner “madly in love,” he added.

Chiu then wished everyone a happy Valentine’s Day.

Han’s comments were also subject to mockery from DPP politician Wang Shih-chien (王世堅), who accused him of “clinging to China’s thigh.”

The Taipei City Council member put both Han and current Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on blast for saying Taiwan and China belong to “one family.” “Both Han Kuo-yu and Ko Wen-je are clinging to the thighs of China,” he said, “the only difference is one is holding on more tightly than the other.”

Han Kuo-yu is set to visit China next month, where he will stopover in a number of the country’s more prosperous southern cities. He told media his sojourn will be purely for trade and tourism purposes, but would be “happy to consider any further exchanges” if proposed by Chinese city mayors.

The Kaohsiung mayor promised to heed MAC’s instructions to not sign any agreements during his visit, but accused the council of being overly-anxious.