Premier Lin Chuan (林全) yesterday vowed to reduce land expropriation and enhance communication with the public as the government pushes forward with the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project, which is to be a key component of a larger “Asian Silicon Valley” project that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) proposed during her campaign.
The premier made the remarks during a visit to Taoyuan to inspect the future site of the Asian Silicon Valley project, where he was briefed about a dispute between area residents and the government over the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project.
“Politically speaking, [the government] should reduce unnecessary land expropriation to avoid delays in the project’s progress due to protests by local residents,” Lin said in response to media queries for comments on the stalled project.
Photo: Hsieh Wu-hsiung, Taipei Times
“The government should also do its best to communicate with the public. I believe that [Taoyuan Mayor] Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) would help negotiate and he should not only follow the rules and regulations, but also pay attention to things that have been overlooked.”
“Better communication with the public should be the government’s attitude when dealing with land expropriation issues,” the premier added.
The Taoyuan Aerotropolis project, proposed by the then- Taoyuan County Government, comprises a new town around Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport with a free-trade zone, an expanded airport zone, an industrial exposition zone, an industrial zone, an agricultural zone, a coastal recreation zone, and residential and commercial zones, all of which would cover 6,845 hectares.
Photo: Hsieh Wu-hsiung, Taipei Times
In addition to land that has already been expropriated or developed, 3,130 hectares is to be taken from private owners, which has triggered mass protests from landowners, who took to the streets and filed lawsuits. In 2013, a farmer committed suicide, reportedly in protest over the land grabs.
“Taipei and Hsinchu are the right and left hands of Taoyuan, with Taipei being an international metropolis and Hsinchu being an important research and development hub for the IT industry,” Lin said. “We have chosen Taoyuan as the base for the Asian Silicon Valley project to revive the economy in northern Taiwan.”
Lin said that Taoyuan is also a good choice due to its robust industry, international airport and the Aerotropolis project.
He added that while the entire Asian Silicon Valley might take a long time to complete, the government would maintain its focus on it and regularly check on its progress.
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also