TAIPEI (CNA) – Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Saturday that a plan for the city to set up a liaison office in China to serve Taipei residents there is still being assessed.
“If the plan works out, the most likely location would be in Shenzhen where a lot of our Taipei expatriates are living,” Ko said during a healthy walking event in the city.
The mayor said that while the city is weighing the idea of a liaison office, the final decision on such a project would primarily be up to the central government, which is responsible for cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.
The other objective of a Taipei office in China would be to promote business ties between the two cities, he said.
New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) expressed on Friday his desire to open a New Taipei liaison office in China, and Ko told councilors during a hearing the same day that Taipei is also working on a plan to open an office in China, with Shenzhen the most likely location.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) issued a statement Saturday that echoed the main points of its response to Chu’s appeal the day before.
It said that any decision on a liaison office is not up to the local government but rather falls under the jurisdiction of the MAC, which is responsible in Taiwan for cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.
Citing the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, the MAC said it is a complex issue as it involves an extension of government authority in mainland China.
The MAC said it will further discuss the issue with the two city governments and stressed that it is willing to help and provide information to its citizens living in China. •
By Matt Yu, Miao Zong-han and Ko Lin