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KMT Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia departs for China on 7-day visit

02/26/2024 08:32 PM
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Kuomintang Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (second left) leads a delegation to China back in June 2023. CNA file photo
Kuomintang Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (second left) leads a delegation to China back in June 2023. CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (夏立言) on Monday departed Taiwan on a seven-day multi-city tour of China, where he plans to exchange Lunar New Year greetings with Taiwanese people living and working there.

According to the KMT, Hsia is scheduled to make stops in Xiamen, Guangzhou, Nanchang, Hangzhou, Kunshan and Shanghai, where he will meet with Taiwanese residents.

The party said Hsia does not have any plans to meet Chinese officials, but would not reject an opportunity to do so.

Should the opportunity present itself, Hsia will tell Chinese officials that he wishes to express condolences to family members of the Chinese fishermen who died in waters near Taiwan-controlled Kinmen County earlier this month, it said.

Hsia is leading a delegation that also includes KMT Mainland Affairs Department head Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉) and Chao Chun-shan (趙春山) of the National Policy Foundation, a KMT-affiliated think tank.

Meanwhile, Wu Szu-yao (吳思瑤), a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker who is also secretary-general of the party's legislative caucus, questioned the motive for Hsia's visit, which she said came at an especially sensitive time.

At a news conference held in response to Hsia's visit, Wu asked whether the KMT vice chairman would speak out for Taiwan or would be a Chinese mouthpiece as the latter ramps up its cognitive warfare following the Kinmen capsizing incident that resulted in the deaths of the two Chinese fishermen.

Hsia always chooses sensitive times to go to China, which he has done six times since becoming KMT vice chairman on Oct. 30, 2021, Wu said.

Another example included Aug. 10, 2022, when China began ramping up military exercises around Taiwan immediately after then-United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit, the lawmaker added.

At the event, Wu called on Hsia to abide by his responsibility to "safeguard" Taiwan and not to sing to the tune of Beijing.

She also urged him to convey the correct message to China, which includes supporting and defending Taiwan's "firm enforcement of the law."

Meanwhile, the DPP lawmaker called on Hsia to tell China to respect the prohibited and restricted waters around Taiwan under the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

(By Lin Ching-yin, Wang Cheng-chung and Ko Lin)

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