Tue, Oct 17, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Green lawmakers want a southern capital

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) and Wang To-far (王塗發) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator George Liu (劉寬平) yesterday said their proposal to move the nation's capital to central or southern Taiwan has wide support in the legislature.

Sixty-one DPP legislators and three of their TSU colleagues have signed the proposal so far.

Two Chinese Nationalist Party lawmakers, Wong Chung-chun (翁重鈞) and Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), have also shown their support.

Chai told a press conference that many countries establish their capitals away from their economic centers, and Taiwan should do the same.

He added that some Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea and Myanmar, are even considering moving their capitals away from their nation's economic centers.

Chai said that Taipei has always been the nation's most important city and it is where the most universities and companies are based, but unlike central and southern Taiwan, the city has been fully developed.

Moving the capital away from Taipei would help promote regional development, he said.

Liu told the conference that Taiwan would be able to assert its own sovereignty if the nation's capital were changed.

DPP Legislator Sandy Yen (莊和子) said at the conference that voices from central and southern Taiwan would be better heard in the news if the capital were moved there, adding that the beauty of the regions would also become better known by the international community.

DPP Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇), who was at the conference, said: "It's time to balance the distribution of national resources."

Using Australia as an example, she said that Australia established its capital in Canberra rather than in its economic centers, Sydney and Melbourne, because "they [Australians] understood that development of a country has to be balanced."

Although the legislators have not agreed on a single ideal location as the new capital, they are going to propose a law as a basis, Chai said, adding that if the law failed to pass, they would initiate a referendum bid for the motion.

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