Taipei, April 11 (CNA) The annual twin-city forum between Taipei and Shanghai will likely be held in June this year.
At a press conference held Tuesday morning, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) responded to reporters that the city has since been talking with Shanghai officials on the possibility of staging the Taipei-Shanghai forum in June to avoid a conflicting schedule with the Taipei Universiade, which will kick off in August.
The speculation on the forum date was stemmed when Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) returned from a recent visit to Shanghai. Although there has not been a word of confirmation from the Chinese side, head of the Shanghai's Taiwan Affairs Office Li Wenhui (李文輝) will apparently arrive in Taipei on Friday to hold discussions on the subject.
Ko said the people on both sides must maintain friendly interactions despite cooler cross-Taiwan Strait relations.
The upcoming Taipei-Shanghai forum is seen as a rare high-level exchange across the strait as relations between the two sides have cooled since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party took office last May.
Asked whether Taipei will send a delegation to China to promote the sporting event, the mayor said a visit will definitely be organized to encourage Chinese visitors to attend the games.
The Taipei-Shanghai forum was initiated in 2010 by then-Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) to serve as a channel for exchanges between the two cities. Since then, the two sides have been taking turns to host the annual event.
Sha Hailin (沙海林), a member of the Standing Committee and head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China's Shanghai Municipal Committee, led the Chinese delegation to the forum in Taipei last August.
(By Liu Chien-bang and Ko Lin)