Former Taiwan premier Frank Hsieh left for China to build mutual trust
TAIPEI (AFP) - Former Taiwan premier Frank Hsieh left for China on Thursday for a trip which makes him the most senior politician ever from the pro-independence 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 handling cross-strait relations and solving problems for Taiwanese businessmen based in China," he told reporters at the airport.
Mr Hsieh served as prime minister from 2005 to 2006 and retains major influence in the DPP. He was the party's presidential candidate in the 2008 elections but lost to Mr Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang.