China’s envoy visits Taiwan amid protest

China’s envoy visits Taiwan amid protest

TAIPEI - Dozens of demonstrators chanting anti-Beijing slogans protested 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 of 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.

During a welcoming reception in Taipei, his Taiwanese counterpart Lin Join-sane hailed steady progress in cross-strait relations.

Lin said there were more than eight million cross-strait visits in total last year and two-way trade amounted to $197.2 billion.

Such a "win-win" situation should be cherished, he said. "The two sides should keep working towards the goal of peace, prosperity and development."

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