Pro-democracy protesters in southern Taiwan pushed an envoy from mainland China to the ground Tuesday while shouting that their island does not belong to Beijing.
Television stations showed protesters assaulting Zhang Mingqing, vice chairman of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, leaving him lying on the ground. Later, an activist stomped on Zhang's car.
The attack comes several weeks before a planned visit by Chen Yun-lin, Zhang's superior and the lead man in pushing for unity with Taiwan.
China claims the island as part of its territory and has threatened to invade if it ever moves toward formal independence.
Ties between China and the island have warmed since the election of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, who promised expanded trade and political relations with Beijing