Sat, Jul 17, 2004 - Page 2 News List

President praises Kaohsiung's brand of `city diplomacy'

By Chang Yun-ping and Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTERS , IN KAOHSIUNG

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday praised Kaohsiung for its successful bid to hold the 2009 World Games, saying that its "city diplomacy" has created an alternate model for achieving the government's goal of expanding its diplomatic contacts.

Addressing the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) weekly Central Executive Committee meeting, which was held in Kaohsiung yesterday as part of the party's efforts to improve its chances in the city councilor by-elections today, Chen said in his capacity as party chairman that "city diplomacy" is a breakthrough in diplomatic practice.

"The city's success in winning the World Games, against the backdrop of China's incessant opposition to the nation's participation in international events, is particularly precious.

"It demonstrates the valuable contribution that city diplomacy can make to the central government's diplomatic efforts," Chen said.

His comments came in response to a report by Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) on the progress of the city's urban development and major infrastructure construction projects.

Chen said that since the DPP came to power, the government has addressed the distribution of governmental resources, which favored Taipei City and largely ignored southern Taiwan.

Earlier in the day, the Kao-

hsiung City Government announced that a new Web site -- www.worldgames2009.org.tw -- would provide the public detailed information about the 2009 World Games.

"I hope this new Web site can play the role of a communication conduit between Kaohsiung and the world about the 2009 World Games," Hsieh said.

The mayor said that Kaohsiung has continued preparing for the international tournament since it signed a contract to host the games with officials from the International World Games Association on June 14.

"The Web site is one of numerous preparatory projects. We still have a lot of construction to do," Hsieh said.

According to the Web site, 3,000 athletes from nearly 100 countries will take part in the games.

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