Tue, May 18, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Wang Jin-pyng voices support for park project

By Flora Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday voiced support for Academia Sinica’s plan to turn a disputed piece of land in Taipei into a national biotechnology park.

Wang told a forum in Taipei that turning the 202 Munitions Works into a biotechnology park was far better than maintaining it as a military factory. He also said Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) had told him that he would like to attract more biotechnology companies to the planned technology zone, using Academic Sinica’s facilities to attract biotechnology talent.

“The plan was not initially controversial until individuals in art and literature circles and environmental protection activists said they would like to turn the land into a park or ecological reserve,” Wang said.

The speaker said he believed the government would be able to strike a balance between environmental protection and economic development.

The 202 Munitions Works, located in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港), became the subject of controversy after essayist Chang Hsiao-feng (張曉風) urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to reject a proposal.

Following Chang’s call, a group of academics, artists and environmental protection advocates launched a signature drive last week to urge Ma and Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) to turn the site into Taipei’s “Central Park.”

Armament Bureau Director Liu Fu-long (劉復龍) said last week that the planned biotech park would occupy 9.6 hectares of the site.

In response to the activists’ protests, Wu referred the development plan to an environmental impact assessment by the Environmental Protection Administration on May 13.

Meanwhile, members of the Education and Culture Committee went to inspect the land with Wong.

Committee head Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲), a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker, said the visit was meant to help legislators understand why the plan to set up the park had become so controversial.

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