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Last day of Zhang's visit to Taiwan cut short after security scare
Central News Agency
2014-06-28 09:33 AM
Taipei, June 28 (CNA) Two stops on the itinerary of Zhang Zhijun, China's top official responsible for relations with Taiwan, have been canceled, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) announced early Saturday, hours after Zhang's entourage had a close encounter with protesters. Zhang, who arrived Wednesday on a unprecedented visit, was scheduled to call on a fishing harbor in Kaohsiung and later a historic estate in Taichung before returning to China in the early evening. Those two stops have been canceled after consultations with Zhang's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), MAC announced on its website without giving any reasons. Zhang will visit a school for visually impaired students in Taichung and call on Mayor Jason Hu as planned, according to the MAC announcement. Zhang will also make a stop at a temple in neighboring Changhua county as scheduled. The cancelation is believed to be related to the violent protest that greeted Zhang and accompanying officials in Kaohsiung late Friday. On their way to a informal meeting with his Taiwanese counterpart Wang Yu-chi, some vehicles and members of Zhang's security detail were splattered with white paint as demonstrators on both sides of the narrow road shouted anti-Chinese slogans. Some of the protesters also threw joss paper, or ghost money, toward the visitors as a sign of insult. In Chinese tradition, joss paper is usually burned as money to be spent by the deceased in the next world or as offerings to one's ancestors. Zhang appeared unaffected but the paint hit several members of the security personnel. Since his arrival four days ago, Zhang has been greeted by protesters usually numbering in the dozens almost wherever he goes. (By Tsai Su-rong and Jay Chen)
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