Second Chen-Chiang summit
The Second Chen-Chiang summit (第二次陳江會談) was part of a series of the Chen-Chiang summit of cross-strait meetings. It was the first major meeting between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) leaders in Taiwan. The meeting lasted from November 3 to 7, 2008 in Taipei, Taiwan. The 5-day visit was the highest level meeting between the KMT and CPC in six decades.
In the past, planes had to fly into Hong Kong airspace while traveling between the two sides. At the time, the meeting was one of the highest-level exchanges between officials from mainland China and Taiwan since 1949, when the Kuomintang, the party led by Chiang Kai-shek, lost the Chinese civil war to the Communists and retreated to Taiwan.
Earlier, on October 21, 2008, another Chinese envoy, Zhang Mingqing (張銘清), was pushed to the ground by Taiwan Independence activists in a scuffle in Tainan while visiting Taiwan. As a result, Taiwan police decided to mobilize a total of 7,000 officers for Chen's protection. The 1025 demonstration also occurred on October 25.
The night before the first day meeting, Chen Yun-lin was trapped by protesters at the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei hotel, while attending a banquet. Hundreds of protesters surrounded the hotel, chanting, throwing eggs and burning Chinese flags, according to news agencies. The riot police clashed with the protesters, and dozens of people were injured.
The official talk between leaders of the SEF and ARATS was held in the morning of November 4. Both sides held press conferences. On November 4, 2008, mainland China's Chen Yun-lin met with his Taiwanese counterpart, Chiang Pin-kung, head of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF). Together, they signed the 2008 Taiwan-China Cross Straits Economic Pact providing for direct passenger flights across the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait that separates Taiwan from mainland China.
In a conference at the Taipei Guest House, Ma reiterated his three-point China policy of “no independence,” “no unification” and “no war” across the strait. Ma said Chen signed four agreements with Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), on shortened air routes, direct maritime shipping, better mail service and food safety.
In the morning, Chen met Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, attended the opening of two cross-straits seminars and lunched with People First Party chairman James Soong. During the afternoon, he toured the Hsinchu Science Park. Chen Yun-lin's final public engagement was a dinner with Kuomintang chairman Wu Poh-hsiung at Taipei's Grand Formosa Regent Hotel. The venue became a magnet for hundreds of protesters. Ma pointed out, “the Republic of China is an independent, sovereign state which has existed for 97 years. That is the fact nobody can change!"
President Ma Ying-jeou met with Chen Yun-lin at the Taipei Guest House at 11:00 am on November 6, 2008. The meeting between Ma and Chen lasted only five minutes. The two officials exchanged gifts. Chen presented Ma with a painting of a horse (Ma's surname means horse), and Ma gave Chen a piece of fine porcelain.
Chen offered Nyssaceae seedlings, a rare plant that only grows in mainland China, to Ma, along with two pandas. In return Ma offered an indigenous goat naemorhedus swinhoei and a spotted deer as gifts.
Chen addressed Ma as You, and avoided addressing Ma as president. Doing so would have implied that the mainland recognizes the legitimacy of the Republic of China. The question of how Chen would address Ma was much discussed by political analysts on both sides.
President Ma Ying-jeou blamed unruly protesters on poor organization on the part of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and its chairwoman, Tsai Ing-wen. Ma also accused DPP Secretary-General Wang Tuo of reneging on his promise of peaceful demonstrations. Ma described Tsai's managing of protests as a "road [Tsai] knows little about and a thing she is not good at doing" which yielded "unexpected consequences." All told, the police department reported 149 of its officers injured during the protests.
About 400 students, led by assistant professor of sociology at National Taiwan University Lee Ming-tsung (李明璁), started the sit-in in front of the Executive Yuan on November 6 at noon after violent oppression of previous protest by policemen. The students call themselves Wild Strawberry student movement and believe that police, while protecting the safety of Chen and his delegation, acted improperly and that freedom of speech had been suppressed. The sit-ins now lasting for over a month have three demands
- An open apology from President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan to all citizens
- The resignation of National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) and National Security Bureau Director Tsai Chaoming (蔡朝明)
- The swift amendment of the Parade and Assembly Law (集會遊行法).
An 80-year-old man, a former KMT member named Liu Bai-yan (劉柏煙), sets himself on fire at Taipei Liberty Square. He suffered from 80% body burns. His suicide note referred to Chen as follows: "When Chen Yun-lin met with the President [Ma Ying-jeou], he pointed his finger at the President, saying "you, you, you". I think, the President looked quite content, smiling a little. Is the President's name "you, you, you"? As a member of Kuomintang, I am embarrassed by this display. If the mainland sends over someone higher, shouldn't the President kneel?" Liu died on December 14, 2008.
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