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Taipei mayor lauds sister-city ties with Atlanta

2019/03/21 19:34:03

Valeria Jackson (left) and Ko Wen-je (right)

Atlanta, March 20 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Wednesday said he hopes Taipei and Atlanta will maintain their sister-city ties for another four decades after lauding 40 years of friendship.

Taipei and Atlanta have worked together and taken part in many exchanges in the fields of city governance, commerce, education and culture since establishing sister-city ties, said Ko during a celebration in Atlanta to mark the four decades of city-to-city relations.

On Nov. 5, 1979, then Taipei Mayor Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) signed the sister city agreement with then Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson in Taipei.

Ko said he visited Lee, who later became Taiwan's first democratically-elected president, before embarking on his nine-day trip to the United States. Lee, who is now in his 90s, remains up to date on the long-term friendship between the two cities, according to Ko.

Mayor Ko also mentioned the Atlanta-born civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his speech.

Dr. King' s efforts to seek racial equality through non-violent means contributed to the culturally diverse and yet highly cohesive society in the U.S. today, Ko said, adding that he is also determined to establish a fair and equal society in his home city.

Also present at the event were Vincent Liu (劉經巖), head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta; Brad Raffensperger, secretary of state of Georgia; Felicia Moore, president of the Atlanta City Council and Valeria Jackson, Maynard Jackson's widow.

Jackson recalled her visit to Taipei with her husband, describing. Taipei as a vibrant city with unforgettably tasty dishes.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness," Jackson said, quoting American writer Mark Twain. She encouraged those at the event to visit Taipei and experience its culture first hand.

(By Liang Pei-chi and Emerson Lim)