Sat, Jun 02, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Chen and Hu push old Taichung airport development plan

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) met Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) at the Presidential Office yesterday for an hour-long talk, during which a long-stalled plan to develop a massive plot of land in the greater Taichung area was put on the fast track.

Chen ordered that NT$7 billion (US$212 million) be allocated from a military barracks reconstruction fund to facilitate the relocation of the Air Force Second Logistic Command Center away from the site of the former Shuinan Airport so that development projects on the vast plot of land covering approximately 250 hectares can begin.

Chen instructed the Council for Economic Planning and Development, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the Ministry of National Defense and the Taichung City Government to collaborate and form a task force on the development plan, so as to enable the Air Force Second Logistic Command Center to be fully relocated by the end of this year, paving the way for the launch of the land development plan at the beginning of next year at the earliest.

On the map

The Shuinan development plan -- which would include development of a modern urban hub housing a university city, a trade exhibition center, an up-scale residential district and a forest park -- put Taichung on the map in March after Richard Li (李澤楷), a Hong Kong business tycoon whose father, Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠), is Asia's richest man, paid a visit to the site on a fact-finding tour.

Meanwhile, Taichung City Deputy Mayor Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家旗), who was also present at the meeting, said the president also instructed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to talk with its legislative caucus to reach a consensus on the issue of whether the Local Government Act (地方制度法) should be further amended to enable Taichung City to be upgraded to a special municipality.

During the meeting Hsiao said Hu also suggested that Taichung's Chingchuankang Airport be allowed to operate cross-strait charter flights during the Chinese New Year and other major holidays.

Chen instructed the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to study the feasibility of Hu's suggestion, Hsiao added.

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