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Chinese KMT to Exchange Party Officials with CPC

  

  Taiwan

  's Kuomintang (KMT) party is going to make party-to-party official exchanges with the Communist Party of China (CPC) beginning at the end of August, according to KMT chairman Lien Chan.

  According to sources fromTaipei, Lien Chien said Tuesday at a press conference that the first phase of exchanges will be conducted between six cities and counties includingKeelung, with mainland cities includingNingboin east

  China

  'sZhejiangProvince.

  Each county and city will select up to 30 officials to join in the visiting delegation. Members of the delegation will include non-KMT members in the future, including those who care about the development across the Taiwan Straits, said Lien.

  The second phase of exchanges will be among 10 cities and counties and the third phase will includeTaipeiandKaohsiung, according to Lien.

  The set exchange pairs are Keelung-Ningbo, Hsinchu-Suzhou, Taichung-Xiamen, Changhua-Qingdao, Tainan-Shenzhen, Kaohsiung-Fuzhou.

  Lien expressed the hope that the party-to-party exchanges will not only mean communication, opinion-conferring and friendship-promoting among party officials, but also boost cultural and trade ties across the Straits.

  Lien and CPC chairman Hu Jintao signed a press communique on his visit to the mainland in late April and early May, saying that the KMT and CPC would establish a platform for regular exchanges between the two parties, including mutual visits of party officials at various levels.

  (Xinhua News AgencyAugust 18, 2005)