Sun, Feb 11, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Lai ‘supports’ legislature move

CENTRALLY LOCATED:The premier agreed with the deputy legislative speaker that a move to Taichung would offer more demonstration space and help Taipei businesses

By Chang Ching-ya  /  Staff reporter

Premier William Lai, front row, left, is yesterday joined by Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung, front row, center, and others on an inspection of the dredging of Green River in Taichung.

Photo: Chang Ching-ya, Taipei Times

Premier William Lai (賴清德) on Friday said he would fully support relocating the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan to Taichung if the legislature passes a motion to do so.

Lai made the remarks in Taichung at a forum on how to streamline efforts between the central and local governments to push the Cabinet’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and the Long-term Care Services Program 2.0 forward, in response to Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang’s (蔡其昌) suggestion to move the two agencies to the central municipality.

“If lawmakers resolve to move the Legislative Yuan to Taichung, there will be no reason for the Executive Yuan to object,” said Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), who also attended the forum.

Because Taipei is the nation’s political and economic hub, a large earthquake would have a detrimental effect on national development, Tsai said, adding that moving the administrative and legislative branches to Taichung could help government efforts to balance regional development.

If the legislature is moved to Taichung’s Chenggong Ling (成功嶺) military training camp, there would be sufficient space for protests and demonstrations, and business near the Legislative Yuan would no longer suffer due to traffic controls during protests, Tsai said.

He also pitched the idea of creating a “democracy square” at Chenggong Ling, while touting Taichung as “a vast city with convenient transportation links.”

Lin agreed, saying that lawmakers and officials could easily reach the municipality by taking the High-Speed Rail, and that national land reform is the “last mile to realizing democracy.”

“If the Legislative Yuan passes a resolution, the Executive Yuan would give its full support” to relocating, Lai said.

Lin has long advocated relocating the Legislative Yuan.

In a 2012 letter to the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times), Lin said that the relocation of the legislature to Taichung could address the problem of uneven development between the northern, central, southern and eastern areas, which has increased the urban-rural gap.

“By moving the legislature, it would be possible to come up with ways to develop national land that benefit everyone and to implement government renewal,” he said.

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