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Ko heads to Shanghai on first trip since becoming Taipei mayor

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (???) left for Shanghai Monday to attend the 2015 Taipei-Shanghai Twin City Forum on his first trip to the Chinese city since he was elected last November. There is some interest in the level of Chinese officials that will hold talks with Ko, given his background as a popular independent surgeon-turned-politician leaning toward Taiwan's China-wary Democratic Progressive Party. For example, observers will want to see whether there will be meetings with Zhang Zhijun (???), director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, and Han Zheng (??), the communist party secretary of Shanghai. According to the schedule released by the Taipei City government, Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong (??) will welcome Ko and his delegation with a dinner party Monday night. Sydney Lin (???), a spokesman of the Taipei City government, sidestepped questions about possible meetings with Zhang or Han, saying "our schedule is set mainly around Yang Xiong (??)." The forum is about exchanges between Shanghai and Taipei, he said. During the forums held in previous years, then-Mayor Hau Lung-bin met with Zhang and Yu Zhengsheng (???), who was the party secretary of Shanghai at the time. Ko's delegation of more than 30 people will be in Shanghai before flying back to Taipei on Wednesday. The forum will open on Tuesday, centering on city development, young entrepreneurs and medical service. Also, cultural exchange will be highlighted since Ko will visit several historical monuments, including the site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in 1921. Beginning in 2000, Taipei and Shanghai have taken turns hosting the annual city forum. (By Ku Chuan, Kao Chao-fen and Hu Xiangjie)

Updated : 2021-09-26 11:01 GMT+08:00