Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday assumed the mayorship of New Taipei City (新北市, the proposed English name of the upgraded Taipei County) and proclaimed the end of Taipei County and the arrival of “the beginning of a new age.”
“Today marks the beginning of the new age in which New Taipei City will compete with the four other special municipalities in the country,” he said during the swearing-in ceremony.
“There will not be any holidays during my four-year term. Every day will be a workday as we strive for the development of New Taipei City,” he added.
Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) presided over the swearing-in ceremony and handed Chu the official seal.
Expounding on his administrative principles, Chu said the relationships between the city government and its residents, and the city government and the central government, will be relationships of partnership “in which [the city] will push for all kinds of development to create a win-win situation.”
Chu’s campaign platform included an aggressive plan to extend the MRT system, creating 10 new lines, including three circular networks. He has also promised New Taipei City residents that by 2020, construction would either have started or be completed on 80 new stations and 100km of new tracks.
During Chu’s inaugural ceremony, Amis Aborigines from the Sanying Aboriginal Community along Dahan River (大漢溪) were blocked by police as they attempted to petition the mayor.
Buses carrying the Aborigines were stopped blocks away from city hall, and they were not allowed to go near the event until after the mayor left.
Chu’s election as mayor has worried many Aboriginal communities along rivers in New Taipei City because he has a record of demolishing riverside Aboriginal communities since his tenure as Taoyuan County commissioner.
Budget: NT$106.4 billion
Loans: NT$57.4 billion
Allocation of funds: NT$44.039 billion
Accumulated debt: NT$103.3 billion
Mayor: Eric Chu (朱立倫)
Deputy mayors: Lee Shu-chuan (李四川), Hsu Chih-chien (許志堅) and Hou You-yi (侯友宜)
Secretary-general: Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢)
City Council seats: KMT: 30; DPP: 28; Others: 8
New Taipei City Government: 161, Jhongshan Rd Sec 1, Banciao District, New Taipei City (the previous site of the Taipei County Government)
New Taipei City Council: 166, Wunhua Rd Sec 2, Banciao District, New Taipei City (the previous site of the Taipei County Council)
Meanwhile, the new special municipality has still not figured out what to call itself in English.
On Monday Chu announced that the city shall henceforth be known in English as “New Taipei City” because Sinbei means “new Taipei” in Chinese.
However, the move has been blocked by the Ministry of the Interior for the time being, as Deputy Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said the ministry would discuss the proposal with Chu at a later date.
Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin