Mainland Chinese diplomat Chen Yunlin can no doubt expect a heated response to his Taiwan visit, which starts today, from the island's independence advocates. Just a couple of weeks ago, pro-independence demonstrators pushed another Mainland representative to the ground, and later half a million marched through the streets of Taipei denouncing Chen's planned visit.
The problem with all this is that it lacks imagination, and further violence will only get them depicted as a bunch of hooligans. Instead, why don't they turn out half a million people to greet Chen warmly - with banners reading "Welcome to the free, independent and democratic nation of Taiwan"?
As for Taiwan's repeated attempts to secure United Nations representation, China is being a little hypocritical in blocking this on the grounds that China already represents the island and a separate seat would therefore be redundant. When Belarus and Ukraine held seats at the UN in addition to being represented as part of the Soviet Union, China never objected.