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Ko Wen-je does not rule out a virtual Taipei-Shanghai City Forum this year

Ko says forum should be held despite cross-strait ties turning sour, COVID-19 pandemic

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je at a summit held by Taiwan People's Party on Oct. 2, 2021. (TPP FB photo)

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je at a summit held by Taiwan People's Party on Oct. 2, 2021. (TPP FB photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan People's Party (TPP) Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) expressed his hope on Saturday (Oct. 2) that the annual Taipei-Shanghai City Forum could be convened this year as cross-strait relations are turning sour, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic still marring international travel.

"An online forum could be an option," Ko said at a summit about Taiwan-Hong Kong ties hosted by the TPP. According to the latest poll by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF), the TPP is the second most popular political party among young voters behind the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Asked by a reporter whether the city will continue exchanges with Shanghai this year, Ko gave a more positive answer.

"As cross-strait ties are turning sour and the pandemic remains a challenge, whether we hold the forum depends on circumstances at the time," he said. "Correctly speaking, the city government would not earn acclaim for hosting the forum but would be discredited if we did not have it." Ko added it would be held virtually as it was last year, if the city government eventually opts to go ahead with the meetings.

At Saturday's summit, Ko said the city government was aiming to become a magnet to lure talent from Hong Kong against the backdrop of the population exodus resulting from the Chinese repression of the democracy movement. "We are making plans to welcome the professionals from Hong Kong to boost the city's and the country's competitiveness," the Taiwanese capital's mayor said.

Updated : 2021-12-02 00:48 GMT+08:00