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Wed, Jan 10, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Deputy mayor of Shanghai in Taipei for reciprocal visit

AFP , TAIPEI

Shanghai's deputy mayor Feng Guoqin (馮國勤) arrived in Taiwan yesterday and pledged to help improve exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

Feng said he would inform Taiwan about business conditions and developments in science and technology within Shanghai during the trip, in an effort to strengthen bilateral ties.

"I believe in Taiwan I will see many old friends and meet new ones ... to help push for interaction between the two metropolises, between the two sides of the strait," he said.

The delegates, including Guo Ge (郭戈), deputy director of Shanghai's Taiwan affairs office, and officials and academics, are on a 10-day trip at the invitation of Ruentex business group, a private cultural foundation, and legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖).

The trip will also take the delegates to Hualien in eastern Taiwan and Tainan and Pingtung in the south.

They are to attend dinners hosted separately by Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), his deputy Pai Hsiu-hsiung (白秀雄) and Taipei City Council Speaker Wu Pi-chu (吳碧珠).

Pai went to Shanghai in February last year for a seminar and is scheduled to make another trip there next month.

The city of Taipei would consider opening a trade office in Shanghai to protect the interests of Taiwanese businessmen, Ma said.

Taiwan's government has pledged to relax controls on visits to China by Taiwan central government high-ranking officials and city mayors and county magistrates. Under current laws, they can go to China only for international conferences.

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