Taiwan travel chief eyes oar-some role

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 May, 2009, 12:00am

Just last year, Hong Kong officials were avoiding Taiwan's representatives like the plague. Now they can't have enough of them. Officials from the island are truly starting to take part in the city's social life as relations warm up across the Taiwan Strait. The Chung Hwa Travel Service, the island's de facto political office, has said its chief, Jeff Yang Jia-jiunn (pictured), will for the first time take part in this year's dragon-boat racing, to be held next week to celebrate the Tuen Ng Festival.

'It's a small step for Mr Yang, but a giant step for Chung Hwa,' a public relations minder said. 'The man is over 50 but he's been training over two months for dragon-boat races.'

Perhaps Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung, who used to round on Chung Hwa's officials for engaging in any activities besides tourism, will approve this time.