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Taipei, E-Community, Sign Sister-City Pact

[TAIPEI] Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou and Education Minister Tseng Chih-lang last week signed what is being touted as the first ever sister-city agreement between a real urban center and a virtual community.

The agreement was signed electronically via the Internet, by Ma at City Hall and Tseng in his ministry's offices, according to a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times. Tseng represented EduCities, an Internet learning community managed by National Central University.

EduCities was established 11 months ago and has more than 250,000 registered members of all ages.

Under the terms of the agreement, Taipei residents will be encouraged to join e-learning events arranged by EduCities, and schools will offer supplementary courses via the Net.

During the ceremony, Ma--who since taking office two years ago has been aggressively promoting e-government and broadband access for all--reiterated his belief that Taipei residents should use the Internet more, and roads less, so as to reduce congestion and pollution.

The mayor said that currently 60 percent of the capital's classrooms have a computer, a figure he expects to reach 100 percent soon.



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