Kaohsiung: A senior Chinese official arrived on Thursday in south Taiwan, a hotbed of anti-Beijing sentiment, as protesters threw eggs and flowers in a reference to Tunisia`s "Jasmine revolution".
Close to 200 demonstrators were waiting for Chen Yunlin, China`s top negotiator for Taiwan, as he arrived for a forum at the port of Kaohsiung, the island`s second-largest city.
"Support Taiwan independence," the protesters chanted, as some of them threw eggs and chrysanthemums in the direction of Chen`s motorcade. They said the chrysanthemums served as a substitute, since it is not the season for jasmine.
None of the projectiles hit the passing vehicles, as the demonstrators were kept at a distance by a large police presence.
Chen`s trip, which began on Wednesday, is his fourth to Taiwan, but it is the first time he has visited the south of the island, where anti-Chinese feelings are stronger than anywhere else in the society of 23 million.
Chen, who heads a semi-official body in charge of Taiwan ties, has brought a delegation of representatives from about 20 state-owned companies, saying that he wishes to put business at the top of the agenda during his six-day trip.
"It`s good that Chinese companies come to Kaohsiung to invest, but I worry that China is using economic means to back its real intention of unification," transportation worker Lu Kuo-hua said.
Taiwan and China have been governed separately since the end of a civil war in 1949 but Beijing still considers the island part of its territory and has vowed to get it back, even if it must go to war.
Ties have improved considerably since 2008 when Ma Ying-jeou of the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party was elected president of the island.