Radio Taiwan International
The 2017 Taipei-Shanghai Twin City Forum is scheduled to open on July 2nd in Shanghai. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je Ko and his Shanghai counterpart Ying Yong are expected to attend the opening ceremony.
This year’s forum will be the first official exchange between Taiwan and China since President Tsai Ing-wen took office last May. More importantly, the timing is somewhat sensitive because relations between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait have taken a turn for the worse following a string of incidents in recent months. They include China’s detention of a Taiwanese NGO worker, Taiwan’s exclusion from this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA), and Panama’s decision to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said friendly gestures should help break stalemate. An independent, Ko is affiliated with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but he also makes no secret of his interest in and vast knowledge of Chinese culture and history. Ko’s conciliatory approach towards China, however, has made him enemy for some DPP members. [FULL STORY]