Thu, Apr 09, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung officials meet Liu to seek city-county merger

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Following in the steps of the Tainan mayor and Tainan county commissioner last week, Kao-­hsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) and Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday visited Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), calling for a merger of the two administrative districts.

“The integration of ­Kaohsiung County and Kaohsiung City should be granted in tandem with the merger of Taichung County and Taichung City,” Yang told reporters before meeting with Liu.

The legislature last week approved an amendment to the Local Government Act (地方制度法), paving the way for the merger between Taichung County and Tai-chung City by the end of next year at the earliest, which was one of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) campaign promises.

“The vast majority of people and the two local governments [favor] integrating Kaohsiung County and Kaohsiung City,” Yang said. “Despite some concerns from the Kaohsiung City Council, most people hope the merger can take place by the end of next year.”

“If Taichung City and ­Taichung County are merged before ­Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County, it would only complicate things as southern Taiwan would be marginalized, hampering development,” he added.

Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) and Chiayi County Commissioner Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) have also recently expressed interest in merging their two counties into one special municipality.

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