Wed, May 12, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Author Chang to inspect site of Munitions Works

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The government has invited 69-year-old author Chang Hsiao-feng (張曉風) to inspect a plot of land which is to be transformed into a biotech research park after she asked the president to save “Taipei's last piece of green land,” Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday.

Asked about Chang's appeal, in which she knelt in front of television cameras and begged for the preservation of the wetland on Monday, Wu said he was “very touched” and expressed his respect for the retired Chinese literature professor.

Wu said, however, that her pleas “can't change everything” and that the government should try its best to find a balance between environmental conservation and national development.

“If Taiwan preserved all its wetlands, would it be able to develop the economy or create employment opportunities? “ Wu asked. “You cannot just look at one part of the picture.”

Chang will attend a press conference to be held today at the military factory complex in Nangang District (南港), known as the 202 Munitions Works, where related government officials will give a briefing on the planned biotech park to be developed by Academia Sinica.

Academia Sinica was given the green light in 2007 by the then-Democratic Progressive Party administration to use 25.3 hectares of the 185 hectare site, coming up with a proposal to use an area of 9.6 hectares to build a biotech park, pending Cabinet approval.

Describing the military zone as “Taipei's last plot of green land,” Chang wrote a letter to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on May 5, urging him to not to develop the land or the wetlands, but to preserve its pristine and natural conditions.

Despite the appeal, Ma decided to stick with the biotech park plan after he visited the site on Monday, but he instructed the government to invite experts and opinion leaders to form a supervisory committee to oversee the development process, prompting Chang to make her plea with a stronger gesture.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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