by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Oct 5, 2012
Exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan on Friday voiced concern that closer interaction between Taiwan and China was causing growing contempt of mainlanders among the island's residents.
"I am very concerned. I don't want to see confrontation between the people," said Wang, who achieved world fame as a student leader in Tiananmen in 1989, while launching his memoirs in Taipei.
Ties with China have been expanding fast since Taiwan's Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou took power in 2008, adopting a series of measures to boost trade and tourism.
China has since become Taiwan's biggest source of visitors. Last year, more than 1.7 million Chinese visited the island, the majority for sightseeing.
But Wang said closer contact with people from China had caused the Taiwanese to dislike them more.
It is a similar trend to tensions in Hong Kong following an influx of mainlanders to the southern Chinese territory in recent years, he added.
"China's economic rise and strong power can't cover up people's behaviour and manners. People see it now because they are close," said Wang, who has been living and teaching in Taiwan in recent years.
Some Taiwanese have complained about what they consider the crude and loud behaviour of visitors from the mainland.
Wang dedicated a large part of his book to the China he experienced in the 1980s, which he called "a beautiful era when people strived for their ideals".
"Today's China has a rising economy and big muscles but it's a country without a soul and spirits... and that saddenes me," he said.
Taiwan News at SinoDaily.com
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Taiwan ex-PM heads to China on landmark visit
Taipei (AFP) Oct 4, 2012
Former Taiwan premier Frank Hsieh left for China on Thursday for a trip which makes him the most senior politician ever from the China-sceptic opposition party to visit the mainland. The visit, described by local media as "ice-breaking", came amid debate in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) about whether to change its China policy. "I hope to prove that the DPP is capable of handlin ... read more
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