China will not attend global cities forum in Kaohsiung: official

Five Chinese cities that were invited to an international forum hosted by Kaohsiung City are unlikely to attend the event, which will begin Tuesday, a city official said Monday.

Tseng Wen-sheng (???), director of Kaohsiung's Economic Development Bureau, said invitations were sent in June to Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Tianjin for the three-day Global Harbor Cities Forum but they have not responded.

Meanwhile, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (??) said Monday that city-to-city exchanges between Taiwan and China would be conducive to the development of cross-strait relations and it was regrettable that the five cities had not responded to the invitations.

Kaohsiung remains open to communication and exchanges with China, said Chen, noting that she had visited China twice -- in 2009 and 2013.

Positive development of cross-strait ties can only be achieved through exchanges and interaction, Chen said, adding that she will not pass up any opportunities to continue such exchanges.

On the question of whether Kaohsiung was being cold-shouldered in view of the fact that Shanghai representatives participated in a twin city forum with Taipei last month, Chen told reporters she was disappointed that the five Chinese cities had not responded to Kaohsiung's invitation.

Some 44 cities in 24 countries have confirmed their attendance at the forum, which will cover issues such as industrial transformation, marine tourism and sustainable development, according to Kaohsiung officials.

The delegates will include Graham Quirk, lord mayor of Brisbane, Australia; Panama City Mayor Jose Blandon; Medan Mayor Dzulmi Eldin of Indonesia; Melvin Holden, mayor-president of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana; Juan Sotomayor Garcia, mayor of Callao, Peru; and Mohamed Shihab, mayor of Male City in the Maldives, according to Kaohsiung officials.

The Kaohsiung City government said it is expected to sign several agreements at the forum with representatives from Vietnam, Panama City, and Selangor in Malaysia.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel