Date
24 May 2017
President Tsai Ing-wen and her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, wave during her inauguration in May. Photo: Reuters
President Tsai Ing-wen and her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, wave during her inauguration in May. Photo: Reuters

Tsai blocks landmark Hong Kong visit by predecessor

Former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou has been barred by the new government from a landmark visit to Hong Kong this week.

President Tsai Ing-wen rejected Ma’s travel request, citing security concerns, Bloomberg reports.

The government said it needs more time to ensure the security of Ma’s trip and assess what confidential information he has access to, Taiwan’s Office of the President said Sunday.

The former Kuomintang leader was due to address the Society of Publishers in Asia’s annual journalism awards gala in Hong Kong on Wednesday which would have made him the most senior Taiwanese figure to visit the former British colony since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949.

The Hong Kong visit by Ma, 65, would have capped a career of milestone trips.

In November, he shook hands with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Singapore, the first face-to-face encounter between leaders of the former civil war foes in almost 70 years.

Tsai took office May 20, after securing control of both the presidency and the legislature for her Democratic Progressive Party in a landslide election in January.

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