Protesters hound ARATS chairman
Staff writer, with CNA
Protesters clash with police
yesterday as Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen
Deming visits southern Taiwan.
Association for Relations Across the
Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (³¯¼w»Ê) traveled to Pingtung County
yesterday to visit a biotechnology park, with protesters following him at every
Chen, who is in Taiwan for an eight-day visit, first listened to a briefing by
Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park director Huang Jin-cheng (¶Àª÷«°).
Huang said there are currently 73 manufacturers in the park and the number could
reach 80 by the end of year. Agricultural exports produced there are distributed
to more than 30 countries worldwide.
Huang added that the park is working with the country¡¦s planned ¡§free economic
pilot zones,¡¨ with the next stage of development focusing on animal-use
vaccines, aquarium fish, and processed agricultural and fishery products.
Chen listened carefully, took notes and asked questions about the rents for
manufacturers wishing to set up in the park.
Prior to his arrival at the park, members of the Falun Gong movement unfurled a
banner outside the facility to protest China¡¦s persecution of Falun Gong
Falun Gong members and local civic groups opposed to a proposed cross-strait
service trade agreement also staged protests at the high-speed rail station in
Greater Kaohsiung, when Chen arrived there en route to Pingtung, but were kept
at bay by police.
Chen made no comment in response to the Falun Gong protest. However, he said he
has seen people with signs protesting the service trade agreement.
¡§I don¡¦t know how many people they represent as there are hundreds of thousands
of people in Taiwan,¡¨ he said, adding that from Taiwan¡¦s long-term perspective,
he believes that the majority of Taiwanese would support the trade agreement.
Additional reporting by staff reporter Chiu Chih-juo