Taiwan mayor is welcome to boost cross-Straits ties

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)

10:11, August 13, 2013

The mainland visit of a senior member of Taiwan's main opposition party has raised expectations for better exchanges between the mainland and the island's Democratic Progressive Party.

Chen Chu, mayor of Kaohsiung, arrived in the mainland on Friday and is staying until Wednesday.

Yang Yi, spokesman of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told Xinhua News Agency that the mainland always supports city-to-city exchanges across the Taiwan Straits, and also welcomes people from Taiwan "as long as they endorse the idea of cross-Straits peaceful development", he said.

But the DPP's policy "remains unchanged", and inter-party communication will be impossible if the DPP doesn't change its pro-independence stance, Yang said.

Chen arrived in Shenzhen on Sunday after a weekend stay in Tianjin. She is also scheduled to visit Xiamen and Fuzhou in Fujian province.

It is Chen's second visit to the mainland. She came to promote the Kaohsiung-hosted World Games in 2009, which made her the highest-ranking member of the DPP who has ever visited the mainland.

Chen is one of the founders of the DPP and was its acting chairwoman following the resignation of Tsai Ing-wen after the DPP's loss of the Taiwan leadership election to the ruling Kuomintang in January 2012.

Her relations with Beijing soured when she met the Dalai Lama in Kaohsiung in 2009.

Chen said the goal of her visit is to invite mainland cities to attend a conference of mayors that will be in Kaohsiung in September and to promote intercity exchanges.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:ZhangQian、Liang Jun)

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