Fri, Sep 09, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Ma, Ishihara strike deal on next year's Asian cities meet

BY MO YAN-CHIH  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) agreed yesterday that Taipei will host next year's Asian Network of Major Cities (ANMC) meeting early next year to compensate for the cancelation of this year's event.

This year's meeting, originally scheduled to be held in Beijing, has been canceled because of difficulties in relocating the forum after Beijing's abrupt withdrawal as this year's host.

The annual ANMC meeting usually takes place in November.

Because of the cancelation of this year's meeting, Ishihara asked Ma to bring forward the time of next year's summit.

EARLIER DATE

Ma said that Taipei "accepted the proposal with pleasure" and that the meeting would be held sometime in March or April.

"Time constraints are the biggest concern over Taipei hosting the ANMC this year. Mr. Ishihara and I reached have agreed to move next year's ANMC forward to March or April, and the city government will budget for the event," Ma said after his meeting with Ishihara.

The ANMC secretariat will hold a meeting in Tokyo to confirm yesterday's decision.

Ma's meeting with Ishihara lasted about an hour yesterday morning at Taipei City Hall. Swamped by reporters after the talk, Ishihara said nothing as he left the building.

NO POLITICS

In response to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) comments during a lunch meeting with Ishihara on Wednesday that Taipei should host the next ANMC meeting, and that "it will actually help Beijing if [Taipei] refuses to take up the right to host this year's meeting," Ma said that he did not understand why Chen made the remarks.

He said the central government should not politicize the issue.

"We will focus our efforts on preparing for next year's ANMC, and Taipei City will be more than happy to invite Beijing and Shanghai to the event," he said.

Taipei launched its bid to host this year's ANMC meeting in July of last year.

LAST MINUTE STUNTS

Beijing entered the race against Taipei only a few days before last year's annual meeting in Jakarta. Beijing was granted the right to host this year's meeting, while Taipei earned the right to host next year's event.

Beijing protested the outcome at the time. However, it was not until last Tuesday that Beijing officials announced that they were pulling out of the deal.

This story has been viewed 2978 times.
TOP top