Mon, Oct 13, 2014 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: KMT’s Wong outlines Chiayi plans

IN HIS ELEMENTS:The commissioner candidate laid out plans for infrastructure ‘on land, sea and air,’ which he said would revitalize the county through tourism

By Tsai Tsung-hsun and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wong Chung-chun (翁重鈞) is representing the KMT in Chiayi County for the third time as its candidate for commissioner in the hopes of solidifying the party’s support in the area in the Nov. 29 elections.

In a recent interview with the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), Wong said his blueprint for Chiayi County is to emphasize improving infrastructure, “on land, sea and air.”

In terms of infrastructure on land, Wong hopes to extend the No. 82 East-West Express Way toward Chukou Township (觸口) so that it passes the Alishan National Scenic Area, while on sea, he wishes to clear out all the sedimentary sand in Budai Harbor (布袋) so that it can receive 5,000 tonne-class ships, making the harbor a supporting harbor to Greater Kaohsiung Harbor.

Wong said he also intended for Budai to become a major stopping port between Taiwan and China.

For infrastructure on air, Wong intends to upgrade existing facilities in Shueishang Airport, not only normalizing international flights coming and going from Chiayi, but also attracting more international flights to stop at Chiayi.

Wong’s said his proposals are heavily oriented toward tourists, and that he was certain that the integration of Alishan, the southern branch of the National Palace Museum in Chiayi and the Aogu Wetlands (鰲鼓溼地) with infrastructure would help increase Chiayi’s renown both domestically and internationally.

In terms of industry, Wong plans to focus on making the Ma Chou Hou Industrial Park (馬稠後工業區) a candidate to be one of the Ministry of Economic Affair’s future free economic pilot zones.

Wong said the industrial park is extremely close to the County Special Residence zone, the exclusive zone for Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Chiayi and the high-speed rail station at Minsyong (民雄), adding that the No. 82 Expressway also connects to National Highway No. 3, National Highway No. 1 and the West Coast Expressway.

Wong said that no other industrial zone in Taiwan has such advantages, but the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration from 2000 to 2008 had missed the opportunity to attract Taiwanese businesspeople back to the area, even though Dapumei Industrial Park (大埔美工業區) was established in 1999.

The region has lagged behind the development of the Southern Taiwan Science Park and the Guantian Industrial Zone, Wong said.

Commenting on the region’s agricultural development, Wong said that should he be elected, the county government would focus on developing high economical value, which would hopefully draw highly educated youth back to the countryside.

Wong said his efforts at the Legislative Yuan to increase the Farming Village Regrowth Fund by NT$5 billion (US$165 million) to a total of NT$200 billion would be of great help in developing future staple products in the region.

Wong said that Chiayi County received the lowest birth subsidy funding in the country and that elderly people were entitled to only NT$20 a month for tea and water subsidies and said he would make “adequate adjustments” to the fees if he were elected.

“I’ve researched the budgets for more than three decades,” Wong said, adding that he knew how best to husband resources and allocate them where they are needed.

Wong said he would strive to secure central government funding for projects and create opportunities for a financially downtrodden county to have a better future.

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