Wed, Oct 19, 2016 - Page 3 News List

City councilor calls for ending yearly forums between Taipei and Shanghai

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Wang Shih-chien (王世堅) yesterday demanded that the Taipei City Government cancel the annual Taipei-Shanghai Forum, saying that China has become increasingly blatant in its united front tactics aimed at infiltrating Taiwan since last year.

During a city council question-and-answer session with Taipei City Government Secretary-General Su Li-chung (蘇麗瓊) and Taipei Department of Civil Affairs Commissioner Lan Shih-tsung (藍世聰), Wang showed several photographs taken last year at a meeting between former Zhongshan District (中山) Office director Lin Ping-tsung (林秉宗) and Shanghai’s Minxin District (閔行) United Front Work Director Jin Mei (金梅).

One of the pictures showed Jin giving a speech to a room of Zhongshan officials.

Wang accused Jin of avoiding due procedure by contacting the district office directly to arrange her visit when she should have obtained the department’s permission before visiting, adding that there are central government policies governing visits by Chinese officials.

Referring to memorandums of understanding (MOU) signed at this year’s forum between Taipei’s Zhongshan and Shanghai’s Minxin districts and between Taipei’s Zhongzheng (中正) and Shanghai’s Jingan (靜安) districts, Wang said China picked Zhongshan and Zhongzheng districts because the former is the nation’s defense center and the latter is where the nation’s political headquarters are located.

The Ministry of National Defense headquarters, the Navy Command headquarters and the Heng Shan Military Command Center are in Zhongshan District, while the Presidential Office Building, Executive Yuan and legislature are in Zhongzheng District.

The MOU, along with the municipal government’s inaction over Chinese officials’ disregard of protocol, have created loopholes that allow China to “cruise into” the nation’s military and political headquarters, Wang said.

Wang said the forum was an ill-conceived policy by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) during his tenure as Taipei mayor.

However, under city councilors’ supervision, Hau adhered strictly to cross-strait exchanges and made sure that exchanges between Taipei and Shanghai remained at the local government level, Wang said.

For example, Shanghai sent household registration officials and sanitation engineers to Taipei to learn about the municipality’s work in those two areas during Hau’s term, he said.

However, since last year, China has changed its approach by sending united front officials, such as Shanghai Municipal Committee United Front Work Department Director Sha Hailin (沙海林), he said.

Accusing China of trying to assimilate Taipei and “blurring the line” between the two nations, Wang demanded that the city government discontinue the forum and that Su relay his message to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

“Intercity exchanges are crucial to a global society,” Su replied.

Wang responded by saying that Ko has a “fetish” for associating with Chinese officials.

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