The annual twin-city forum between Taipei and Shanghai would not be halted because of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in China, but might be postponed if the situation gets worse, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday.
Huang was responding to a call by Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Wang Shih-chien (王世堅) on Facebook yesterday for Taipei to “indefinitely suspend the twin-city forum.”
The virus is spreading rapidly in China, with cases reported in all Chinese provinces and autonomous regions.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center has already announced that all Chinese are temporarily banned from entering Taiwan, Wang said.
In the past few years, there have been more than 100 Chinese attending the forum, he said, calling for it to be suspended until the global fight against the virus is over.
“The twin-city forum is usually held in the summer, when the city council goes into recess, so it is too early to make that decision,” Huang said, adding that the Taipei City Government would evaluate the situation.
“I believe the forum is a platform for important interactions between the two cities, so if it is affected by the virus outbreak, safety would of course be our first priority, but we would still do our duties,” she said.
So far, only large events involving eating and drinking, such as a traditional market festivals, have been suspended due to the outbreak, Huang said, adding that the city government has asked the Taipei Arena to implement disease prevention measures, as it still holds large events with thousands of people.
In other developments, the city government faced accusations that former Taipei City Government deputy spokeswoman Huang Ching-ying returned to her job yesterday without a fair and transparent recruitment process.
Huang Ching-ying had resigned from her post in December last year to become a legislator-at-large nominee for the Taiwan People’s Party, whose chairman is Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).
However, an online rumor spread that she was hired on Saturday last week when the city government’s deadline for recruitment was yesterday, and that her monthly salary had been raised.
Taipei City Government deputy spokesman Tai Yu-wen (戴于文) yesterday said that the city government’s Secretariat Office was hiring two personnel, and the deadlines were Friday last week and yesterday.
Huang Ching-ying applied for the first job and the city government processed it according to regulations, Tai said.
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