Taipei – Dozens of demonstrators chanting anti-Beijing slogans protested on Tuesday when a senior Chinese envoy arrived in Taiwan, some of them scuffling with police and demanding the official “crawl back to China”.
The visit by Chen Deming, president of China’s quasi-official association for relations across the Taiwan Straits, comes amid growing fears about China’s increasing influence on the island, which Beijing considers part of its territory.
Last month Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang party, which has championed closer economic involvement with China, suffered a crushing defeat in local elections.
Outside the terminal building dozens of members from the Falungong spiritual movement and the radical pro-independence political group Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) staged a protest.
Some TSU members shoved and pushed police while attempting to force their way into the terminal. They were unable to meet Chen.
“Chen Deming, crawl back to China” and “Communist bandit, crawl back to China” read two of their signs.
No-one was injured or arrested.
Chen said he and his delegation planned to visit venues related to the agriculture, bio-tech, volunteer and tourism sectors.
“We’ll also attend a business forum where we’ll discuss ways to see how we can work together to cope with the global economic situation,” he said
His Taiwanese counterpart Lin Join-sane last week called for the resumption of exchange visits interrupted by the local elections.