Farglory Group (遠雄集團) chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) yesterday called ongoing criticism over the safety of the Taipei Dome project “an unacceptable joke” and urged the Taipei City Government to enter into discussions to end the controversy.
Chao, who shuns the media these days amid allegations of a bribery scandal, issued a statement after subsidiary Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) came under attack over the project’s safety and alleged secret dealings.
Chao ceded the chairmanship to his son last year, but remains head of the conglomerate, which also owns Farglory Life Insurance Co (遠雄人壽), Farglory Hotel Co (遠雄悅來飯店), the Farglory Free Trade Zone (遠雄自由貿易港區), Taiwan Solar Energy Corp (元晶太陽能) and Golden Biotechnology Corp (國鼎生物科技).
“The entire matter has become distorted by politics, something that is terrible and forever beyond my understanding,” Chao said.
Since 2004, Farglory has recruited more than 1,000 architects, engineers and other construction experts from six nations to help design and build the Taipei Dome, a structure which could withstand the harshest of conditions, Chao said.
Chao said that suggestions that the Dome is unsafe or useless are “a joke,” one which he could not accept.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
Chao denied being involved in secret dealings with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) during Ma’s time as Taipei mayor to alter contract terms in the company’s favor.
“I met with the then-mayor two or three times briefly as a social courtesy, a fact that all those who were present could verify,” he said.
City councilors have questioned Ma’s decision to allow Farglory to downsize the Dome and increase commercial space, a move that is at odds with the original design.
Chao said the Dome’s floor space measures 149,066 ping (492,780m2) with a volume of 88,629 ping, compared with measurements of 165,195 ping and 96,000 ping respectively as first promised. Chao said that an independent safety inspection by a third party would help resolve any misunderstandings.
“Prior to that, the city government should refrain from criticizing the company and the construction staff,” he said, adding that Farglory would take up the government’s offer of meeting to discuss the project.
CAUTION URGED: Strong winds and heavy rain are forecast throughout the nation, even though the CWB was not sure whether the eye would make landfall in Taiwan The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday issued a land warning for Typhoon Chanthu, as it continued to gain power while approaching Taiwan from the southeast. As of 8pm last night, Chanthu was about 410km southeast of Pingtung County’s Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), the southernmost point of Taiwan proper, moving northwest at 15kph toward the Bashi Channel. The typhoon had maximum sustained winds of 209kph, with gusts of up to 263kph, bureau data showed. Chanthu, which is likely to come closest to the nation over the weekend, could pose a threat throughout Taiwan proper, but particularly in Taitung and Pingtung, the bureau said. Strong winds and heavy
CLOSED FOR DISINFECTION: Two of the three local cases were linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten, while the other case works at a McDonald’s restaurant The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported three new local COVID-19 infections and 11 imported cases, but no deaths. The local cases are two men and a woman aged between 20 and 80 who reside in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, the CECC said in a news release. Two of them are linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman. He said they are both associated with the mother of a kindergarten student, who was earlier confirmed to have
BIOLOGICAL AGENT: A containment exercise was held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion. The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills. Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion. As part of the drills, air force
‘RAISING TAIWAN’S VISIBILITY’: Premier Su Tseng-chang said changing TECRO’s name to include ‘Taiwan’ would make the representative office more recognizable The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday declined comment on a Financial Times report that the name of Taiwan’s representative office in Washington might be changed, saying only that bolstering and upgrading ties with the US has been the government’s long-term objective. The ministry made the comments after the UK-based newspaper reported on that US President Joe Biden’s administration is considering allowing the government to use the word “Taiwan” in the office’s title. The US is “seriously considering a request from Taiwan to change the name of its mission in the US capital from ‘Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office’ [TECRO] to ‘Taiwan