DURING A CABINET meeting on Dec. 19, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (
After the legal work has been completed, the implementation of the plan will be smooth, and the upgrade will create prosperity for the region.
During his eight years as president, Chen Shui-bian (
Two of these projects have already been completed, and earlier this year Chen said that he hopes to see the integration and upgrade of Taichung city and county in the following year.
To establish a true Greater Taichung, more measures are necessary.
First, the task force established by the Cabinet should come up with a proposal for the integration and upgrade of the Taichung region, and move this plan forward step by step in accordance with the timetable, to make sure the integration of Taichung city and county is progressing as planned. Both the city and the county governments should establish a committee encompassing the business, education and government sectors to help bring this about.
Second, the Cabinet and the legislature should fully cooperate on this matter and complete the legislative work on the Local Government Act and the other two laws that are awaiting approval.
They should review and approve the special act for integrating and upgrading Taichung city and county to the status of special municipality (
Third, to create the new Taichung, large infrastructure projects should be actively promoted, including the construction of a railway line through greater Taichung, the completion of the mountain-coastal railway network, construction of three MRT lines through greater Taichung, the connection of Taipei Railway Administration trains with the high speed rail, the establishment of a convenient rail transportation system, the completion of the greater Taichung road system and its connection with national highways number 1, 3, 4 and 6 in order to complete a convenient highway transport system for greater Taichung.
Fourth, to make greater Taichung a hub in the Asia-Pacific region, the precision machinery industries and traditional industry should be integrated with the optoelectronics industry in the Central Taiwan Science Park at its core to promote a cluster of industrial parks and enable the creation of more science parks.
In addition, the Hsinchu and Southern Taiwan Science Parks should be linked up to build a new center for Taiwan's high tech industry corridor.
Taichung should also utilize the advantages offered by the Taichung Port Free Trade Zone and the Taichung Airport.
These two "ports" can be expanded to free trade zones and become the gateway between Taiwan's high tech industry corridor and the Asia-Pacific region.
Lin Chia-lung is deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office.
Translated by Anna Stiggelbout
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