Fri, Dec 26, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Taipei, Kaohsiung mayors celebrate two years in office

NORTH AND SOUTH In Taipei, Hau Lung-bin opened a new MRT station, while in Kaohsiung a new opinion poll showed that Chen Chu was more popular than ever

By Ko Shu-ling and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Passengers wave through the window of an MRT train decorated with pandas at the opening of the new Nangang Station in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday celebrated two years in office at the opening of the city’s mass rapid transit (MRT) system’s Nangang station, while Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) marked the second anniversary of her term in office with a 30 percent jump in her approval rating.

In Taipei, Hau, looking back at this year, said the word “change” best described the challenges faced by Taipei, both sides of the Taiwan Strait and the world.

Hau made the remarks while cutting the ribbon to officially open Nangang MRT station yesterday morning.

The Nangang east extension line has two stations — Nangang and Nangang Exhibition Center.

Nangang Exhibition Center station is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

The line extends east from Kunyang station on the blue line to join the new Neihu line’s terminus.

In related news, Taipei MRT yesterday also launched carriages painted with pandas, continuing the craze caused by the arrival of two pandas from China earlier this week.

Meanwhile in Kaohsiung, Chen celebrated her second anniversary by releasing a survey conducted by the city’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission which showed that her approval rating has risen to 65 percent.

In a speech delivered at a second anniversary celebration, Chen said she had accomplished what her predecessors had failed to accomplish in the past, including establishing a tropical botanical zone in the Tapingting (大坪頂), a suburban area in the Kaohsiung’s Xiaogang District (小港).

She said the city government had been able to respond faster than the central government to crises over the past two years, such as by spending NT$50 million (US$1.5 million) to create 500 jobs for residents coming from disadvantaged backgrounds amid the recent global financial crisis and having wholesale markets set up special zones selling only products made in Taiwan amid the tainted Chinese dairy products scare.

The city has also become greener over the past two years, she said, vowing to develop the cultural and digital industries, and to complete the construction of the underground railroad systems.

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