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China trip purely business-oriented: Kaohsiung mayor

2019/03/20 22:51:00

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜, front) / CNA file photo

Kaohsiung, March 20 (CNA) Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said Wednesday that the primary purpose of his upcoming trip to China is to boost Taiwan's economy, and he will not talk about politics during the seven-day visit.

According to an itinerary provided by the Kaohsiung City government, Han will visit Hong Kong on March 22, Macao on March 23, Shenzhen on March 24-25, and Xiamen on March 26, before returning to Kaohsiung on March 28.

Asked about the trip, the mayor, a member of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), said he will not breach the line drawn by the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's top China policy-making body.

On the question of who he will meet during his visit to China, Han said he will respect China's arrangements.

In Hong Kong and Macao, Han will seek to gain a better understanding of their governance and development, and will visit high-tech manufacturers and participate in seminars with representatives of Taiwanese enterprises, according to the city government.

He will also attend agricultural product promotion events, as well as investment and trade fairs, it said.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview published in Hong Kong's Sing Tao Daily newspaper Tuesday, Han said that on his visit to Hong Kong, he hopes to sell Kaohsiung's products and attract visitors and investors from Hong Kong to his city.

He said he has to take on the role of a "super salesman," who can promote Kaohsiung's image as widely as possible and raise its international profile, according to the report.

Han also said in the interview that he would not rule out the possibility of running for president in 2020 although he had not given the idea much thought.

"We'll see what the future brings," he said.

On the issue of cross-Taiwan Strait relations, Han said he supported the "1992 consensus" and was not worried about the possibility of being labeled a Beijing supporter.

The 61-year-old came under criticism in February for describing Taiwan and China as "two individuals deeply attracted to each other," during a media interview.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tactic understanding reached in 1992 between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides acknowledge there is "one China," with each side having its own interpretation of what "China" means.

However, Beijing has never publicly voiced support for the second part of the KMT's interpretation.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in January that she has never accepted the "1992 consensus" and will never do so because it is tantamount to the "one China, two systems" formula devised by China to bring Taiwan under its control.

(By Chen Chi-fong, Stanley Cheung and Chung Yu-chen)