TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) was recognized by the Chinese as “Chaing Kai Shek’s (蔣介石) grandson” while in Shanghai for the Twin Cities Forum, before delivering a speech emphasizing the importance of cross-strait communication.
Chiang is in Shanghai for the forum that alternates between Taipei and Shanghai each year, and said on Wednesday (Aug. 30) the event should not be taken for granted. He said that when the cross-strait relationship is more tense, exchanges and communication are even more important.
Clips circulating on Chinese social media show Chiang in a meeting with Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng (龔正) in which he said he feels Taipei and Shanghai are similar. “Many (Chinese) friends tell me that one of the most beautiful aspects of Taiwan is its people,” he said.
"I think the most beautiful quality of Taipei is its inclusiveness and diversity. And I have to say, Shanghai is a lot like Taipei,” Chiang said.
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an takes a selfie with Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng on Wednesday. (CNA, Chiang Wan-an photo)
On Tuesday evening, Chiang toured Shanghai’s Yu Garden area with Taipei and Shanghai city councilors.
CNA reporters said onlookers commented that Chiang looked very young for a mayor, and that some had heard of him before. Others questioned what he was doing in the city, while some said they knew him as the grandson of Taiwan’s former dictator Chiang Kai Shek.
It is not clear if Chiang will meet China’s Taiwan Affairs Office head Song Tao (宋濤) on his trip. The mayor is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Thursday (Aug. 31).
CNA reported that Chiang agreed to attend the forum only if China agreed to stop sending military aircraft around Taiwan for the duration of the event. However, Taiwan’s defense ministry said it tracked 12 Chinese aircraft in its air defense identification zone between 6 a.m on Tuesday (Aug 29) and 6 a.m. on Wednesday.