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In Taiwan, DPP politicians get more familiar with the mainland

July 13th, 2008 25 comments

Tourists from mainland China aren’t the only ones taking advantage of direct cross-strait flights.  Taiwanese politicians from the DPP, known for its traditional insistence on Taiwanese independence, are also beginning to take trips to the mainland.  Yunlin county commissioner Su Zhifen, a member of the DPP, is leading a trade commission to Beijing. 

This article from the Southern Metropolis Daily (连接) gives us more.  Partial translation is below:

“I’m going to the mainland in my role as a county commissioner.  So, my perspective is anything that benefits the interests of the people in my county, then I will do it.  If I complicate my thoughts on this issue too much, then many things won’t get done.” 

Ma Yingjiu’s defeat of Xie Changting’s was critical in allowing the Mainland Affairs Commission to change policies towards the mainland.  On July 3rd, the law was revised relaxing restrictions on Taiwanese county commissioners and mayors visiting the mainland.  Su Zhifen will be the first DPP member to take advantage.  (Ed: KMT mayor of Taizhong, Jason Hu, has also been to Xiamen following this change in law.)

Today (July 12th), Yunlin county commissioner Su Zhifen will lead a delegation aboard a cross-strait weekend charter flight, headed to Beijing.  They are going to “find a route for Yunlin county’s farmers”, pushing quality agricultural products.  Su Zhifen will be the first DPP county or city head to visit the mainland since 2000.  Although this trip is based on economic needs, everyone has noticed the change in political path implied by the trip.

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