Opposition leader's trip seen as a threat to Chen Shui-bian's cross-strait policy Lien Chan, the chairman of Taiwan's main opposition party, is tipped to visit the mainland by early next month in a trip that will dismay the government of President Chen Shui-bian. 'The secretary-general is in China to arrange chairman Lien's visit, and if things go smoothly, he may return here with a more specific visiting schedule,' Kuomintang spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen said yesterday. Party secretary-general Lin Feng-cheng led a delegation to the mainland on Wednesday on a trip to pave the way for Mr Lien's visit. Ms Cheng said she would not rule out Mr Lien making the trip at the end of this month or early next month. The KMT has told local media outlets to apply for mainland permits and register with the party this week if they want to cover Mr Lien's trip. The party hopes Mr Lien can beat his People First Party counterpart, James Soong Chu-yu, to the mainland and become the first opposition leader to make such a trip. Both party leaders are expected to meet President Hu Jintao to discuss cross-strait issues stemming from the mainland's enactment of the Anti-Secession Law. Mr Lien's planned visit has angered Mr Chen's government, which fears that the leader of the pro-unification KMT could undermine the government's cross-strait policy. The government has been less concerned about Mr Soong's planned trip as he agreed to co-operate with Mr Chen in a 10-point consensus reached between the pair in late February. Mainland Affairs Council chairman Joseph Wu Jau-shieh has admitted that a recent mainland visit by KMT vice-chairman Chiang Pin-kung - in which he reached a 10-point consensus on improving ties with the mainland - had disrupted the government's strategy to counter the Anti-Secession Law. The government had originally hoped to create an impression on the international stage that Beijing was dangerous by portraying the law, which authorises the use of force against Taiwan, as a threat to cross-strait and regional stability, officials said. The Taiwanese government was further alarmed when Mr Lien recently accepted an invitation from the mainland for his landmark visit. Mr Chen and his ruling Democratic Progressive Party have harshly criticised Mr Lien's planned visit, saying it would endanger the interests of Taiwan. The president has urged Mr Lien to agree to a meeting before he departs, but the KMT chairman has so far remained non-committal, saying the government has no power to stop him visiting the mainland. However, Mr Lien has also said he would consider communicating with relevant authorities if such a need arose.