Agreements signed between Taipei, Shanghai mayors
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (
) continued his visit to Shanghai yesterday, while attempting to maneuver away from open remarks about the “1992 Consensus” as the two cities concluded four agreements for future exchange.
As foreseen, a total of four memoranda of understanding (MOU) were signed between mayors Ko and Yang, including an agreement on electronic ticketing and one for civil servant exchanges. Two other agreements were exchange agreements among four administrative districts of Shanghai (Jinang and Minhang districts) and Taipei City (Zhongzheng and Zhongshan districts).
”Much may change in the world, but what is certain to remain constant is the friendship between Taipei and Shanghai,” Ko said at the opening ceremony. Highlighting his surgical experience, he stated that medical exchanges between the two cities could take priority because when it came to saving lives political party alignments can be transcended. He added that Taiwan’s national health insurance scheme was an experience the city could share with its counterpart.
During the opening ceremony of the forum between Taiwan’s capital and China’s largest metropolis, Ko instead chose to emphasize that both sides of the Taiwan Strait were “of one family” ( ) while insisting the relations be grounded on “four mutuals” (mutual recognition, understanding, respect and cooperation). He also touted his “new 2015 view” ( ) on crossstrait interactions, arguing that future exchanges take a “peoplefirst” orientation backed up later by government support. Ko added that this model would produce a more diverse range of cooperative exchange and creativity with added efficiency.
Unlike his predecessor Hau Lungbin ( ) who helped institutionalize the city-to-city exchanges during his tenure as mayor, Ko only gave opening remarks and did not deliver additional speeches at the forum.
The MOU on electronic ticketing increased speculation that Taipei’s EasyCard pay-as-you-go system would in the future be compatible with transportation systems in Shanghai. The city’s transport department head responded by saying that discussions on the issue are just beginning, and that card shapes or currency values were not to be considered dilemmas surrounding future compatibility issues.
Ko reportedly did not respond directly to Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong’s ( ) comments on Monday that the “1992 Consensus” served as the basis for cross-strait exchanges, including the current forum between the two cities.
”There wasn’t even time to eat,” Ko said referring to yesterday’s banquet hosted by Yang in which the Taipei mayor said that he did not mention the “1992 Consensus,” saying instead that time was spent drinking. A spokesman for the city government reiterated the mayor’s stance of “respecting and understanding” China’s viewpoints on the “1992 Consensus.”
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-jo, right, looks on as Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong applauds during the opening ceremony of a city-to-city summit in Shanghai yesterday. The two cities signed memorandums of understanding covering electronic billing, civil servant development and exchange among its administrative districts. Ko is scheduled to return to Taiwan later today.