Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Sinbei mayoral candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday pledged he would work to greatly expand the area covered by pathways and bicycle lanes, if elected in November, as part of his policy to develop tourism.
Just hours after he officially registered his candidacy with the Central Election Commission yesterday morning, Chu’s campaign office released a nine-point policy guide on tourism, the latest major policy announcement following earlier pledges to expand the MRT system and provide discounts to seniors.
In the five-page document, Chu said he would create new low-speed limit tourist roads in major scenic destinations along the coast and in areas including Danshui Township (淡水) and near Keelung. He added that, if elected, he would push for the construction of a 120km-long ocean-side bicycle path along the northern coastline.
The document also suggests that if Chu is elected he would increase the number of scenic train routes to small townships reliant on tourism as well as build new community walkways in smaller towns and villages.
To attract more out-of-town visitors, Chu would work toward the construction of more tourist friendly facilities, including new visitor centers, luxury hotels and smaller bed-and-breakfasts, which he said would have to comply with strict environmental standards.
The latest policy announcement comes days after Chu and his election opponent, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) were locked in a bitter row over the KMT candidate’s election pledge to build up to 80km of new MRT tracks over the next decade.
Tsai has suggested the election pledge would lead to broken promises due to funding constraints and because of Chu’s previous track record as vice premier prior to his candidacy. Chu’s campaign has denied the allegations.
A recent poll by the Chinese-language Apple Daily suggested Chu currently enjoys 47 percent support, an 8 percent lead over Tsai at 39 percent among voters in the area that will become Sinbei City. The election is considered a key indicator of support in the run-up to the 2012 presidential elections.