Wed, May 21, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Plaza at stele for Taiwan’s geographical center making way for parking lot
地理中心碑將內縮 擴建停車場

The stele for Taiwan’s geographical center is pictured in Puli Township, Nantou County on May 17 last year.

Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Liberty Times

The Puli Township Office is planning to downsize the plaza where the stele for Taiwan’s geographical center stands to make way for more parking spaces. Many trees will have to be relocated, which some residents question as the office taking great pains to build a parking lot so Chinese tourists can loiter there temporarily.

Puli Township Mayor Chou I-hsiung last week said that the office is solving the parking problem at the stele for Taiwan’s geographical center for all tourists visiting the unique tourist attraction, definitely not to serve minority interests. The office will be as circumspect as possible in dealing with the issue and if any of the trees die it will take full responsibility, Chou says.

The stele for Taiwan’s geographical center is a well-known tourist attraction in Puli — a must-see spot for many of the tourists visiting the town. The number of Chinese tourists visiting the area has skyrocketed in recent years. The area lacks a parking lot though, leaving vehicles, scooters and tour buses with no other choice but to park at the small plaza. Tour buses parked illegally letting passengers alight and board are a common sight, causing worries over the area’s scenery and safety.

Last month the office invited Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih to survey the area because of plans to diminish the plaza space where the geographical center’s stele stands. The added space, which includes a consolidated area along Chungshan Road where peddlers set up stalls, can accommodate 16 tour buses and solve this formidable predicament. Nevertheless, there are many Southeast Asian China firs and camphor trees in the plaza that are at least 40 or 50 years old. The forced relocation of the trees is raising suspicion among many tree lovers.


1. downsize v.

縮減;裁減 (suo1 jian3; cai2 jian3)

例: The company will be downsizing at the end of the year.


2. circumspect adj.

審慎的 (shen3 shen4 de5)

例: Be circumspect about who you trust.


3. predicament n.

窘境 (jiong3 jing4)

例: Your negligence has put the company in quite a predicament.


During a question-and-answer session last week, locally elected representative Ho Hui-chuan requested that Chou take all of the different viewpoints seriously. She also quoted criticism from the Internet, questioning whether Chinese tourists are only getting off buses to use the restroom and take pictures, or actually buying things from local peddlers. Making a brief pit stop in the area brings limited benefits to local tourism, Ho says, adding that if this is indeed the case, she hopes that the office will offer an explanation.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)







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