2018 Taipei-Shanghai City Forum postponed

Shanghai skyline (Flickr user: Travis Wise)

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) The annual Taipei-Shanghai City Forum has been postponed, probably until after Taiwan's year-end local government elections, according to a Taipei City councilor.

Lin Ruey-tu (林瑞圖), who is running for re-election, told a group of local neighborhood leaders Wednesday that he had made a recommendation in this regard to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

Ko accepted his suggestion and made the decision known to his counterpart in Shanghai, Lin told the neighborhood leaders, many of whom are part of his election campaign team.

Ko is also running for re-election in the Nov. 24 elections for local government heads and council members.

The City Forum, which has been held alternately in Taipei and Shanghai since 2010, offers an opportunity for government officials and civic leaders of the two cities to exchange views on various practical subjects such as tourism promotion and infrastructure management.

At last year's forum, held in Shanghai, Ko said it is not unlikely that the forum will end the cross-Taiwan Strait standoff, but will require effort from both sides.

"The two sides of the strait need to respect each other and cooperate with each other. They also need to understand each other," Ko told the gathering.

Official contacts between Taiwan and China came to a standstill after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) became president in May 2016.

The 2018 forum is supposed to be staged in Taipei and Ko, who has no political party affiliation, will likely seek to host such a forum if he wins a second term.

But whether that could happen is doubtful, with just a little over a month until the end of the year after the elections.

Ko is running against the ruling DPP's Pasuya Yao (姚文智) and the main opposition Kuomintang's Ting Shou-chung (丁守中).