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CPC-KMT Grassroots Exchange Starts

  A program of exchanges between grassroots delegates of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and

  Taiwan

  's Kuomintang (KMT) begins inXiamen,FujianProvince, today with the start of a four-day visit from a delegation organized by the KMT'sTaichungCitydivision.

  The delegation is scheduled to hold discussions with

  Taiwan

  business people and students working and studying inXiamen, as well as promotingTaichung's specialties like suncakes and pineapple cakes.

  KMT spokesperson Chang Jung-kung said they were the first batch in the first phase of the exchange program planned following the consensus reached when former KMT Chairman Lien Chan visited the mainland at the end of April and start of May.

  Six cities and counties in

  Taiwan

  and six mainland cities were selected for the first phase and paired:TaichungCityandXiamenCity,KeelungCityandNingboCity,HsinchuCityandSuzhouCity,ChanghuaCountyandQingdaoCity,TainanCityandShenzhenCity, andKaohsiungCountyandFuzhouCity.

  Chang said it was impossible to say how many batches of delegates would be involved overall as the program is intended to be a constant process. However, he said both parties attached great importance to it.

  Today's 30-member delegation included Mu Kuei-hsin, committee chairman of the KMT'sTaichungCitydivision, city official Chen Tien-wen and Liao Feng-te, director of the KMT's Organization and Development Committee. The others were from business and education circles.

  At the end of the visit a fair will be held including a show ofTaichung's scenery to promote tourism there.

  (China.org.cn by Wind GuAugust 23, 2005)