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Tuesday, February 13, 2001, updated at 13:41(GMT+8)

Taipei Mayor on "One Country, Two Systems" in HK

Taipei Mayor on "One Country, Two Systems" in HK
Visiting Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou said Monday in Hong Kong that the "one country, two systems" principle is successful in the three year's implementation in Hong Kong.

In the three years, Hong Kong's economy continued to prosper, with increases of external trade and tourists arrivals, he said in an interview with Xinhua.

Ma said someone had predicted that Hong Kong would become less important after its return to China, but it has not been so and instead Hong Kong has scored much progress in its economy after 1997.

In general, Taiwan people are happy to see the achievements of the "one country, two systems" principle in Hong Kong and wish it success.

Ma said Taiwan has maintained a close tie with Hong Kong for a long time. Over 1.8 million Taiwan people visit Hong Kong annually, with more than 200 flights linking Hong Kong and Taipei and Kaohsiung of Taiwan each week, he said, adding that few other cities in the world maintain so close bilateral ties like Hong Kong and Taipei.

Ma said he advocated not to ignore the importance of Hong Kong as early as ten years ago, as it serves as a spring board for Taiwan to get to know the mainland. Even if the direct postal, commercial, shipping and air links are established across the Taiwan Straits, Hong Kong will still be an important port for Taiwan's trade with southeast Asia, he said.

When he visited Hong Kong two years ago, he reached an agreement with the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute (HKPRI) to hold the Two City Forum between Hong Kong and Taipei. The forum has yielded noted achievements for Taipei to learn experience of Hong Kong in terms of urban transportation and slope management. And the exchanges can be extended to the cultural and educational sectors, he noted.

The exchanges between Hong Kong and Taipei are helpful to both cities, Ma said, and both sides are satisfied with the exchange programs and expecting great progress.

More Exchanges With Shanghai

The Mayor said that he expects an institutionalized channel of exchange with Shanghai, on the basis of the recent exchanges between their deputy mayors.

Taipei and Shanghai can host annual conferences in turn and review the progress of the mutual exchange and study its prospects, he said in an interview with Xinhua Monday evening.

Ma suggested the exchange be started in the fields of education and culture, such as sending artists and writers to each other.

The visit, however, should not be a temporary one, he said, and the time would be one or two months to let the visitors get an in- depth understanding of their host city and put what they see and hear into their works.

Meanwhile, high school students of Taipei can hold exchange programs with Shanghai students during their winter and summer vacations.

Both sides can have local families to be hosts of the students and they can also travel to adjacent places to get a better view and understanding during their 2-3 weeks stay, he said.

Ma said he made the proposal to Shanghai Deputy Mayor Feng Guoqin when he visited Taipei and Feng agreed to it.

To help Taiwan businessmen better settle down in the places they have investment, Ma suggested establishing a primary school in Shanghai so that their children can go on education.

Relevant departments in Taipei have made plans such as sending teachers to the school, he said, which must be privately run, of course.

When asked whether Taipei will expand its exchange to other mainland cities, Ma said it must be conducted step by step, starting with Shanghai.

Taipei has so far received letters of intent from Guangzhou and Guilin, but the expansion can only be made after results are achieved in Shanghai, he said.

In This Section

Visiting Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou said Monday in Hong Kong that the "one country, two systems" principle is successful in the three year's implementation in Hong Kong.

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