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Meeting with Taipei mayoral candidate Ko part of regular meeting: AIT

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has confirmed that AIT director Christopher Marut did meet with Pan-green Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) recently.

The meeting was part of a regular meeting and does not mean to show support to the candidate, the AIT said.

“The AIT Director happened to meet with all kinds of people in Taiwan,” AIT spokesman Mark Zimmer told The China Post during a recent phone interview.

“It was part of a regular meeting with a wide range of people in Taiwan,” Zimmer noted.

Zimmer, however, would not disclose more details of the meeting or what the two sides had talked about during the meeting.

He also would not confirm if the AIT had also met with Ko's Kuomintang (KMT) counterpart Sean Lien (連勝文).

The AIT spokesman made the remarks as a response to Ko's previous statement, as he had disclosed that he had a meeting with Marut, the de facto U.S. ambassador to Taiwan and British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) head Chris Wood, the de facto UK ambassador to Taiwan, separately.

Ko told local media earlier this week that during both meetings, both directors had asked him about his opinion regarding China.

In response, Ko said he will continue to push for cross-strait exchanges while safeguarding Taiwan's sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the BTCO has also confirmed its director's meeting with Ko.

The BTCO said its director has met with all Taipei city mayoral candidates “as part of our program of understanding Taiwan politics.”

“We had wide-ranging discussions, and were particularly interested in future cooperation on two big events in Taipei: 2016 World Design Capital and 2017 Universiade,” the BTCO said in a statement.

“As a world leader in both the Creative and Sport business sectors we want to continue to work closely with authorities here,” it noted.

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