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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Beijing mayor's Taiwan trip builds trust

By Xinhua writer Tian Ye (Xinhua)

09:10, February 22, 2012

TAIPEI, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Taipei's Palace Museum, the Eslite Bookstore, a college theater and local TV stations -- these were just a few of the places Beijing's mayor visited during his recent trip to Taiwan.

Guo Jinlong, who is also deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s Beijing Municipal Committee, led a high-ranking delegation from Beijing to visit the island on a six-day trip that he described as "friendly" and "impressive."

Unlike previous trips made by high-level mainland officials, who mainly focused on commercial cooperation, Guo has focused his attention on culture - something that both the city of Beijing and Taiwan value and have made efforts to preserve.

"Culture strikes a chord in everyone, regardless of their Party affiliation and social status," said Su Chia-hung, a professor at Taiwan's Fooyin University, when asked to comment on Guo's trip.

"Cross-Strait relations are more than just business deals or economic issues. Culture is important as well. Guo came here at the right time," Su said.

Guo, who visited the island at the invitation of the Kuomintang (KMT) central committee, was the mainland's first high-level local official to visit Taiwan this year, attracting a great deal of local media coverage.

Guo gave exclusive interviews while visiting local TV stations and was frequently hounded by cameras as he greeted tourists and visited a bookstore.

Local fruit vendor Lee Yee met Guo when the mayor paid a visit to a farmer's market on Feb. 18. The 28-year-old described Guo as "cordial" and "a person who does not distance himself from the public."

Guo's visit proved to be largely fruitful. On the eve of his departure for Beijing, Guo told local media that his Taiwan trip allowed him to closely observe the "exquisite" management of Taiwanese cities, as well as witness the preservation of traditional Chinese culture in Taiwan.

"Tremendous opportunities" exist between the city of Beijing and Taiwan in terms of cooperation and exchange, Guo said.

Exchanges between Beijing and Taiwan can be expanded into more sectors aside from trade and culture, he said.

Guo took pains to visit a diverse list of destinations during his trip, taking one evening to invite 200 college students for a summer trip to Beijing.

Guo also stopped to sing with local school children in the city of Taichung following a trip to minority-inhabited towns, where he and his delegation presented local students with new school buses.

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