Policy continuity was the main focus yesterday as Taipei mayor-elect Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) held his first official meeting with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Ko, who ran as an independent in the pro-KMT stronghold of Taipei, won more than 57 percent of the vote in the election on Saturday last week, defeating Sean Lien (連勝文) of the KMT.
Ko will assume the office on Dec. 25.
Hau yesterday was knocked over by jockeying cameramen in the blizzard of media attention which accompanied Ko’s initial entrance into the city hall’s mayoral suite.
Hau and Ko emerged after 40 minutes, announcing that Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Yung-jen (陳永仁) and Ko’s deputy mayor-designate, Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基), would serve as the point men for the transition.
“Preserving policy continuity is one of our basic policies,” Ko said. “Good policies will be continued and no personnel changes will be made below the level of deputy commissioner.”
Hau said he would provide Ko with relevant documentation and reasoning for any policy he requests. The city government has already drafted a set of 60 policies to include in the transition progress, he said.
Ko said that because he has not yet been able to look over the city governments’ internal documents, there was a possibility that there had been “misunderstandings” about some of the Hau administration’s policies, even in the case of the Taipei Twin Towers (雙子星) corruption case, for which Ko has promised to publicize all related meeting records.
In one adjustment of policy stance, Ko backed away from previous statements that he would remove a non-commissioned bus lane along Zhongxiao W Road soon after taking office, stating that the road might soon be needed in the city’s traffic plans.
Ko also came out in support of Taipei’s high-school admissions plan for next year, saying that it is too late to reopen the negotiations with New Taipei City required for any adjustments to the plan.
The plan has been a continuing source of tension between Taipei and the Ministry of Education, with the ministry refusing to accept the plan on Monday.
Meanwhile, at yesterday’s city government meeting, Hau also announced that there would be no major new policies or budget revisions until after the transition is completed.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first