Mayor Ko Meets with PRC Official on Taiwan Affairs in Shanghai
On July 3, Mayor Ko Wen-je concluded his three-day visit to Shanghai for the 2017 Taipei-Shanghai Twin City Forum after meeting with Zhang Zhijun, the minister of Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.Stressing that both sides of the Straits share a common language and culture, Ko remarked that it is of mutual interest to learn from each other’s merits. E-commerce, logistics, and urban renewal, for example, are areas where China possesses strengths. The Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel and Bridge took only four years to build. Both the aforementioned project and the development planning of Chongming Island attest to the high efficiency of Shanghai city government. He added that Taipei will assign a team to learn from Shanghai’s e-commerce experience immediately after his return to Taiwan. On the part of Taipei, the mayor believes that the capital of the island can take pride in its medical services – notably efforts in promoting those which are community-based, customized, home-centered, and hospice care. Taipei’s environmental policies have also borne fruit, such as the ban of disposable and melamine utensils at City Hall which has successfully reduced the building’s paper waste by 80% and plastic waste by 65%. Citing the remarks of Zhang Zhijun, City Hall spokesperson Liu Yi-ting pointed out that Shanghai is a fast-moving, vibrant, and innovative megalopolis. He suggested that Shanghai can learn from Taipei in fields such as elderly care, in addition to conducting other bilateral exchanges.Echoing Zhang’s comments, Ko believes that exchanges are conducive to nurturing mutual understanding and goodwill between the two sides, given that currently more than 10,000 Chinese students attend schools in Taipei and over 30,000 spouses from the mainland call Taipei home.