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Taiwan ex-PM plans 'ice-breaking' China visit

Published on Oct 1, 2012 10:54 PM

TAIPEI (AFP) - Former Taiwan premier Frank Hsieh on Monday announced plans to visit China, a trip which would make him the most senior politician from the China-sceptic opposition party to visit the mainland.

The visit, described by local media as "ice-breaking", came amid debate in the party about whether to change its China policy.

Mr Hsieh, who was premier from 2005 to 2006 and retains major influence in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), told reporters he would leav one Thursday.

"The purpose of the trip is to build mutual trust," said Mr Hsieh, declining to say if he would meet Chinese government officials during the five-day visit. His first stop will be the south-eastern coastal city of Xiamen, followed by a visit to nearby Dongshan Island where his ancestors lived before emigrating to Taiwan.

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