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Mayor pleads a case for visitors

VISITING Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu yesterday asked for Shanghai government support to boost travel tours to Taiwan's second largest city.

Chen told Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng the port city eagerly sought more Shanghai tourists to experience its charming landscape and attractions.

Chen, a senior figure in the Democratic Progressive Party, was also promoting the 2009 World Games to be held in Kaohsiung from July 16 to 26. Shanghai is the last leg of her promotion tour.

Mayor Han expressed his confidence in deepening cooperation between the two port cities.

"With development of cross-strait ties, exchanges between Shanghai and Kaohsiung are more frequent than before," he said.

Shanghai and Kaohsiung started chartered flights in 2003 and direct chartered flights last year. "It brings our two cities closer," Han said.

Chen said Kaohsiung wanted to learn from the Yangshan Deep Water Port construction as both cities host an influential shipping industry.

While introducing Kaohsiung's preparations to host the World Games, Chen also stressed the city's tourism industry was eager to see Shanghai arrange more Taiwan-bound tour groups to enjoy authentic and charming southern-Taiwan customs and the attractions of Kaosiung.

Chen handed Han an official invitation to the World Games which was reciprocated with an invitation to visit Shanghai during next year's World Expo.

Chen is the highest-ranking official from the DPP, Taiwan's main opposition party, to visit the mainland.

Chen arrived in Beijing on Thursday and flew to Shanghai yesterday afternoon. She will head home today after visiting the Yangshan port.


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