The director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhang Zhijun, will visit Taiwan this week. He is the most senior People’s Republic of China (PRC) official to visit the island since Chiang Kai-shek fled there in 1949, and he comes to reciprocate a visit by his Taiwan counterpart, Wang Yu-chi, this past February.
Zhang’s original intention to visit in April was stymied by student-led demonstrations in Taiwan this spring protesting a pending cross-Strait services trade agreement – including the protestors’ occupation of the legislature for more than three weeks. Because that agreement is still a matter of fierce partisan debate, and because the spokesperson from Zhang’s office made a highly controversial statement about Taiwan’s future (saying that it was up to all Chinese, not just those in Taiwan), some people have argued that Zhang will face protests and his timing is bad.
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