Thu, Jul 23, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Hau backs removal of arms unit

‘TIME BOMB’The Taipei mayor said that previous mayors and local residents have wanted to see a 185-hectare munitions factory removed from Nangang

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) on Tuesday expressed his support for the speedy relocation of a munitions unit from Nangang District (南港), saying the vacated premises would be suitable for the development of a new industrial district.

Hau said that his predecessors, people who live close to the factory and Taipei residents in general have wanted to see the Armed Forces 202 Munitions Works relocated.

The factory has long been seen as as a “time bomb.”

Hau said he had visited business leaders in the hope that they would set up research and development (R&D) centers in Taipei City, adding he was competing with other cities and counties.

Hau said he had also visited the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Council for Economic Planning and Development and the Ministry of Finance in the hope that they would facilitate the release of state-owned land for developing complexes for high-tech and other innovative industries.

To avoid land speculation by private developers, the roughly 185 hectares on which the ammunition factory stands would be released, but would not be put on the open market, Hau said.

“However, if permission is given for the area to be developed as a science park, companies will be allowed to bid to set up R&D operations there,” Hau said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) has voiced concerns that the move to accelerate the relocation of the factory was meant to help Hon Hai Group, the world’s largest contract maker of consumer electronics.

Kao alleges that Hon Hai founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) has pressured the government to remove the base within three years.

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