Chen Yunlin, right, shakes hands with Chiang Ping-kung
Daylife/AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying
In a historic visit, China’s top envoy for Taiwan, Chen Yunlin, landed in the island territory’s capital Monday to conclude accords on new direct air links, shipping routes and other economic issues, spurring strong protests from Taiwanese opposed to closer ties with Beijing.
The visit, which ends Friday, has enormous political significance. Chen is the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit the democratic self-ruled island since China’s civil war ended in 1949. It is also the first time Taipei and Beijing have held talks at this level on Taiwanese soil.
I don’t interrupt very often; but, “democratic self-ruled island…since 1949” is a load of crap. Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang didn’t allow elections for office higher than mayor for decades. Martial law and one-party rule didn’t end till 1987.
“The whole world is watching. . . . Throughout the history of cross-strait exchanges, we have been waiting 60 years for this moment,” said Chen’s counterpart, Taiwanese envoy Chiang Pin-kung.