Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday concluded his visit to Shanghai, where he attended this year’s Taipei-Shanghai Forum, with a controversial closed-door meeting with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) at the Hongqiao State Guest Hotel.
Ko repeatedly evaded confirming the meeting by saying that he did not know if it would happen.
The meeting was officially confirmed yesterday morning.
“This year’s forum especially attracted people’s attention because the cross-strait situation has changed, but the mainland’s policy toward Taiwan remains clear, consistent and would not change because of the change in Taiwan’s government,” Zhang said before the closed-door meeting.
“We always think of the two sides of the Strait as one family, a community with a shared destiny, and if the family lives in harmony, all affairs would prosper,” he said.
China would welcome “Taiwanese, regardless if a political party, group or individual, as long as they have the correct comprehension of cross-strait relations and are willing to actively participate and push forward a peaceful development of cross-strait relations,” Zhang said.
Ko on Sunday afternoon attended a street dance performance by high-school students in Shanghai.
“There are many youth subcultures, such as street dance, tattooing, or group board games,” he said. “Young people have their own world, so I am thinking, if the annual twin-city forum is held in Taipei next year, I would set up a young peoples’ forum especially for high-school students.”
Young people often come up with new ideas that middle-aged people cannot, Ko said, adding: “They are more lively than we are.”
“The mainland can commercialize its engineering technology and sell it to other nations and also take on overseas construction contracts; this is something that Taiwan can learn from,” Ko said after visiting the Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel and Bridge control center yesterday morning.
The progress of China’s infrastructure development has been marvelously quick, he said.
The Taiwanese government is planning an expensive railway system project and it is a pity that the nation has not yet established a railway industry of its own, he said.
“Shanghai’s progress in e-commerce and e-distribution is way ahead of Taipei’s, so if we were allowed to reset the theme of the forum, I would have preferred e-commerce and e-distribution, so Taipei can really learn,” Ko said, responding to media inquiries about possible exchanges between the two cities.
China’s economic growth rate last year was 6.8 percent to 7 percent, while Taiwan’s was only 1 percent to 2 percent over the same period, Ko said.
“Due to reasons including national defense and a lack of trust between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan cannot be fully integrated into China’s economic system,” he said, adding that if the two sides reduced obstacles caused by distrust, Taiwan’s economic growth rate would likely increase.
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
ENFORCING CAUTION: Certain entertainment facilities are to close nationwide to prevent people traveling there from high-risk areas in the north, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert for Taipei and New Taipei City to level 3 in light of surging cases in the two cities. The enhanced disease prevention measures for level 3 are to be implemented until May 28, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a morning news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. With 180 locally transmitted cases confirmed yesterday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that the government must take immediate action to protect the public, referring to measures stipulated in the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). Other counties
TRACING TROUBLE: An infected man who had said that all his children were abroad was found to have a daughter in Kaohsiung who tested positive, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a new daily record of 29 local COVID-19 cases, including seven cases with unknown sources of infection. Of the 29 cases, 16 are linked to tea houses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei. The 16 are tea house workers or visitors, or their contacts, the CECC said. Workers and visitors to the establishments have frequent interpersonal contact, but few protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are in place, Chen said, urging those who have been exposed or have
RISING TRANSMISSION: The center yesterday reported 333 domestic cases, including 241 cases linked to a cluster of infections from Taipei’s Wanhua District From 12am tomorrow to June 18, foreign nationals who do not hold a valid Alien Resident Certificate or resident visa will not be allowed to enter Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it reported 333 local and two imported cases of COVID-19. Transits through Taiwan will also be suspended during the month-long period, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “The policy is aimed at conserving the nation’s disease prevention capacity,” he said. Although there had been few imported COVID-19 cases in the past few days, inbound travelers would still take up some