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The mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong is currently in Taiwan on what is being described as a 'cultural exchange.' Yet he was met with protests and a lawsuit as he arrived on the island. Many groups are unhappy with the visit including Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans and Taiwanese businessmen who lost money in the Mainland.
It's the first official visit to Taiwan by a Chinese Communist Party official since Ma Ying-jeou started his second term in office. The mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong, touched down at Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport on February 16th for what's been called as a six-day visit to promote cultural relations. Guo was immediately met with protests by Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans and Taiwanese businessmen.
Just hours before Guo arrived, practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual movement had filed a lawsuit accusing Guo of committing crimes against humanity. The Taiwan Falun Dafa Association's lawyer, Theresa Chu, told media that Guo had been involved in the suppression of Tibetans when he was posted in Tibet and the persecution of Falun Gong in Anhui Province and in Beijing.
Guo was part of the 2008 Olympic organizing committee which ordered the arrest of over 500 Falun Gong practitioners in the run up to the Beijing Olympics.
Protests have continued during the trip. Demonstrators gathered near Taipei 101 with a message for Guo.
[Falun Gong Practitioner]:
"Today we have the mayor of Beijing (here), and he has severely persecuted Falun Gong. We just hope he can stop this evil persecution. We would like to tell him the principle that evil actions are met with retribution."
"We came here to express (our opinion) of the suppression of Tibetans carried out in mainland China, recently the situation has become worse and worse. We are not satisfied, so we are here.