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China visit shows DPP's ability to deal confidently with mainland: Mayor Lai

TAIPEI -- Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te (賴清德) embarked Friday on his first visit to China, during which he will open an art exhibition in Shanghai featuring a Taiwanese painter.

Lai, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said he will use the opportunity to promote Tainan's cultural heritage and show the DPP's ability to confidently engage with China.

“I hope China will listen to the many different voices (of Taiwan) — not just one,” Lai said shortly before his departure.

The mayor said he had reported to DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her predecessor Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) about the trip and had gained their support.

Lai is scheduled to preside over the opening ceremony of an exhibition of paintings by the late Taiwanese artist Chen Cheng-po (陳澄波), at the China Art Museum in Shanghai later Friday.

He will also visit Fudan University and host an event promoting Tainan's medical tourism, before returning to Taiwan Saturday, according to the city government.

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Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te (賴清德), left, poses with Mayor of Shanghai Yang Xiong (楊雄) in Shanghai, yesterday. It was Lai's first trip to mainland China as a mayor. He was there to attend the opening ceremony of an art exhibition. (CNA)

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