TAIPEI: A top Chinese negotiator is set to visit Taiwan next month, an official said Friday, his first visit since he was mobbed and shoved to the ground by a pro-independence crowd on the island.
Zhang Mingqing will attend an academic forum in Taipei and plans to meet his Taiwanese counterparts, said an official at Taiwan`s Straits Exchange Foundation, which handles cross-Strait ties.
Zhang, vice president of China`s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, will also travel to central and eastern Taiwan but will stay away from the south where the scuffle took place, said the Taipei-based China Times.
Scores of Taiwanese pro-independence activists pushed Zhang to the ground in southern Taiwan in 2008, sparking an angry response from Beijing.
China and Taiwan split in 1949 following a civil war, but Beijing still regards the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
Zhang`s semi-official association is authorised by Beijing to handle civilian exchanges with Taiwan in the absence of official contact between the two sides.
BDST: 10:00 HRS, July 23, 2010