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'United front' figure to lead Chinese delegates' visit to Taipei

Taipei, Aug.13.─ Confirmation that the visiting Shanghai delegation to the cross-strait cities forum in Taipei would be led by a member of a political organization tasked with "united front" tactics was downplayed by Taipei officials Friday.  Sha Hailin

Sha Hailin (沙海林) of the Shanghai Municipal Committee is a member of the United Front Work Department (UFWD, 中共中央統戰部), a special organ of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Formed in 1942, the UFWD has traditionally held the role of influencing non-CCP elites and interest groups and aligning them with China's ruling party. It is also reportedly tasked with building support in Taiwan for reunification.

Sha will lead China's delegation to the forum, held from Aug. 22 to 23.

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong (楊雄), who is visiting the U.S. from Aug. 20 to 28, will be unable to participate ...

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