TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) politician and former head of the Mainland Affairs Council Andrew Hsia (夏立言) will visit China between Feb. 8 and 17.
The KMT claimed the visit would focus on agriculture and fisheries and stay away from political issues. KMT officials said the trip is meant to promote the interests of Taiwanese working, studying, or living in China.
Issues of Taiwanese farmers, fishers, and small to medium sized enterprises will be discussed, according to reports. As a member of Taiwan’s opposition, Hsia has no power to make decisions, but said that his trip was simply about conveying opinions and sharing information from Taiwan.
China Times said that Hsia’s visit was in the interest of promoting goodwill and promoting exchange.
This is in stark opposition to statements made recently by the Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花), who said that international norms and rules should dictate trade, not goodwill.
Wang told reporters on Thursday (Feb. 2) that Taiwan always adheres to international norms and rules when making trade decisions. "Commodity transactions, especially food transactions, should not use 'good intentions or bad intentions' to determine whether they can be traded," she said.
The announcement of the trip comes amid reports that China is increasing cyber-attacks on prominent Taiwanese officials, including trying to influence opinion on cross-strait trade of agricultural and seafood products.
Hsia will make stops at Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chongqing, and Chengdu throughout the nine-day visit. His last visit to China was last year in August after large scale military exercises were carried out by the People's Liberation Army around Taiwan, when he visited Shanghai and Fujian Province.