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Ko says limited exchanges better than none ahead of Shanghai-Taipei Forum

Annual meeting to be held virtually on Dec. 1

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (Taiwan News photo)

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken in favor of maintaining exchanges with China ahead of the annual Taipei-Shanghai City Forum scheduled for Dec. 1.

Ko will virtually meet with his Shanghai counterpart Gong Zheng (龔正) to discuss exchange programs based on five shared values, namely “mutual recognition, mutual understanding, mutual respect, mutual cooperation, and mutual understanding,” according to a UDN report.

The meeting was supposed to be held in June but was postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

Ko said that relations between Taiwan and China are not amicable at the moment. He cited China’s opposition to Taiwan joining the WHO, its ban on Taiwanese fruits, and the rising competition between the U.S. and China as contributing to the tense situation.

However, he said, limited exchanges between the two sides are better than none at all. The mayor said Shanghai seems willing to engage in the forum but that this is not a decision a municipal government in China can make on its own considering the political sensitivity.

This year's forum will be based on the theme of "New Economy and New Development" and will feature speeches on the “post-pandemic digital transformation of industries" as well as talks on museums and architecture.

The two cities also plan to sign a memorandum of cooperation in three areas: zoos, the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, and innovation and technology.

Updated : 2021-12-03 04:14 GMT+08:00