Gaoxiong Mayor - Chen Chu - has become the highest-level incumbent official from the main opposition D-P-P to travel to China.Chen Chu also referred to "President Ma," "our country [contrasting with China]" and "our central government" when talking to the Beijing mayor yesterday. She also told him that the CCP must listen not only to the KMT itself but to the grass roots voices in Taiwan.
Chen arrived in Beijing yesterday to attend the Paris-based International Real Estate Federation's 60-th World Congress .. and - while in China - she also plans to promote the 2009 World Games - which will take place in Gaoxiong in July.
The Gaoxiong mayor refused to apply for a China-issued "Taiwan compatriot entry permit" ... saying that she hoped to be allowed entry into China under a formula used by Taiwan officials attending activities held in China by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Speaking to reporters on her arrival in Beijing .. Chen said that her visit can be defined as an "ice-breaking, or trailblazing event" ... and that she hopes it will inspire the Beijing leadership to understand that there is a gap between what they have learned from the K-M-T and what she called the "mainstream grassroots opinion."
She was quickly praised by both KMT and DPP caucuses, and Speaker of the Legislative Yuan Wang Jin-pyng also praised Chen Chu for her remarks. KMT chair Wu Po-hsiung saying these forms of address are "normal" -- even though he couldn't bring himself to call Ma President while hosting Chen Yunlin in Taipei. One reporter asked Wu if he would use the form of address "President Ma" next time he was in China, to which he responded cryptically, "you will know when that time comes."