Date
19 September 2017
A car carrying Chinese official Zhang Zhijun is surrounded by security. Days of protest cut short Zhang's landmark trip to Taiwan. Photo: AFP
A car carrying Chinese official Zhang Zhijun is surrounded by security. Days of protest cut short Zhang's landmark trip to Taiwan. Photo: AFP

Protests cut short China official’s landmark Taiwan visit

A landmark visit by a senior Chinese official to Taiwan ended abruptly after days of protest, BBC reported Monday in its Chinese online service.

Zhang Zhijun, the mainland official in charge of Taiwan affairs, left the island earlier than scheduled after protests dogged his visit, originally set for four days.     

Zhang said Taiwan is a place where multiple voices co-exist and the question of how those voices should be expressed should be left to the Taiwanese people to decide, the report said.

State news agency Xinhua praised Zhang’s visit as a success and the New York Times said the Taiwanese did satisfy Zhang’s wish to hear the voices of democracy.

However, although Zhang appears to have a milder tone than his predecessors, he is unlikely to have advanced any hopes of reunification, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Zhang was scheduled to visit central Taichung city, along with several places, on Saturday and meet with the mayor Hu Chih-chiang but the itinerary was abruptly called off after protests in southern Kaoshiung city the previous night, the BBC said.

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