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Taipei mayor confirms meeting with Shanghai government official

2017/04/15 22:05:39

Ko Wen-je (center)

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) confirmed on Saturday that he met with head of the Shanghai city government's Taiwan Affairs Office Li Wenhui (李文輝) in his office a day earlier and that the two mainly discussed the upcoming annual twin-city forum to be held in the Chinese metropolis.

The two men addressed a series of issues relating to the forum during the one-hour meeting, such as when and where the forum will be held and other details, Ko said.

"Beginning now, we have two months for negotiations," the mayor said, adding that he looks forward to attending the forum in person.

Earlier this week, Ko predicted that the forum would probably be held in Shanghai around June 25-27. However, there has been no formal response from the Chinese side.

Replying to questions from reporters on the low-profile of his meeting with Li, Ko said that it was at the request of his guest. "If we want to make friends, we should not make trouble for them," he added.

The Ko-Li meeting was held behind closed doors and only revealed to the press by a Taipei city government spokesman after it concluded.

Referring to other issues mentioned during the meeting, Ko admitted that they also discussed the detention of Lee Ming-che (李明哲), a Taiwanese human rights and democracy advocate, by the Chinese authorities, and the participation of China at the 2017 Universiade Taipei to be held from August 19-30. He declined however to reveal more details.

Lee Ming-che (李明哲), a former Democratic Progressive Party worker who is now a staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei and a volunteer at Covenants Watch, a local non-government organization, was detained by the Chinese authorities after entering the city of Zhuhai via Macau on March 19.

The Taipei-Shanghai forum was initiated in 2010 by then-Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) to serve as a channel for exchanges between the two cities. Since then, the two sides have taken turns to host the annual event.

Sha Hailin (沙海林), a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China's Shanghai Municipal Committee and head of the United Front Work Department headed the Chinese delegation to the forum in Taipei last August.

(By Liu Chien-bang and Romulo Huang)