The Chinese officials who arrived in Taiwan for attending the Lantern festivals were met with groups of Pro-Taiwan democratic protesters.
Li Xiaodong (C), an official from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office in Shanghai, arrives at the Songshan Airport in Taipei on 18 February 2023. AFP, Image from Firstpost.
Among extreme military tensions between China and Taiwan, the visit of Chinese officials for the Lantern Festival in Tapei is seen as a move from the Chinese government to push their Pro – communists ideological push in China. The Chinese visit was headed by Liu Xiadong, deputy head of the Shanghai Office of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. While exiting the airport Liu did not respond to any questions from the media and quickly rushed out of the airport amid chants of Chinese go back.
Chilly Chen, head of the pro-independence Taiwan Republic Office, told Reuters that Taiwanese people would be responding peacefully to the visit as long as Chinese officials don’t try to meddle with policies in the democratic island.
Chinese aim of establishing a united front by co-opting Taiwanese land into the larger one-nation plan was constantly rejected by Taiwanese people. The lantern festival is one of the most important cultural celebrations in Taiwan and the Chinese invitation was on the condition of a low-profile visit. According to a report Taiwan’s China Policy Affairs Council expects that this visit will promote mutual understanding between the two nations and will be a way for future healthy and order exchanges.
Since President Tsai Ing-Wen was elected china has had grave objections to her policies and has often called her a separatist leader, despite city-to-city engagements continuing there has been severe disengagement between the two governments lately.
Tsai’s government constantly made efforts to initiate peaceful communication links between the two nations but the Chinese response to such policies has been heavy militarization at the border. China is carrying out military activities near Taiwanese borders, Taiwan Strait median line is constantly violated by Chinese airforce jets.
The Chinese arrival was met with a group of around a dozen Pro – Taiwan independence supporters protesting against the Chinese interference in Taiwan and slogans like “Taiwan and China are separate countries” were uttered. The larger sentiment of the protest highlighted how a larger section of the Taiwanese population does not take Chinese leadership to be their leaders and representative of their interests. At the same time, Pro-China supporters who gathered at the airport shouted their welcome greetings to the Chinese officials. There is constant tussle among Pro-China and Pro-Taiwanese supporters in larger discourse in the nation