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July 5, 2013

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City signs 4 deals with Taipei to bolster ties

SHANGHAI and Taipei yesterday signed four memorandums of understanding to boost cooperation in public services, tourism and libraries, further deepening political, cultural and economic ties.

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, who completed a three-day visit, made keynote speeches about future development at this year's Shanghai-Taipei City Forum.

Yang said Shanghai is in the midst of restructuring its economy to focus more on services. He added that innovation is vital to boosting the service sector.

Hau spoke about the importance of "soft power" in a city's development.

He said a city can prioritize the needs of the population by learning about their needs.

"We have to behave humbly and know what people really want," Hau said.

One memorandum concerns the respective public service hotlines of the two cities. Under the agreement, the cities will exchange ideas on how to better operate government sponsored hotlines.

"Whatever problems Taipei residents encounter, they can dial 1999 and operators will get the proper authorities to look into it," Hau said. "If a government official doesn't adequately solve the problem, he or she will be fired. The hotline is a direct line of communication between residents and the government."

In another agreement, Shanghai Library and Taipei Public Library will exchange books and librarians. They will also share ideas in building a database and online library.

Shanghai's Putuo and Yangpu districts will cooperate with Taipei's Da'an and Nangang districts in the fields of education, technology and tourism. The frequent visits are expected to bring more investment and business opportunities to both cities.

The Shanghai-Taipei City Forum was first held in 2010.


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