Mon, Jul 23, 2018 - Page 3 News List

President begins two-day visit to Taitung County

Staff writer, with CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen, center, yesterday inspects solar panels in Taitung County’s Beinan Township.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday began a two-day tour of Taitung County to help promote tourism to the county and get a firsthand look at whether the needs of its Aboriginal population are being met.

Her first stop was an old sugar factory in Taitung City that has been turned into a cultural park, where she explored several of the shops and bought, among other things, a handmade backpack that she jokingly said would be used to carry “documents, including state secrets.”

Tsai said she also planned to meet farmers to talk about marketing of their produce and to visit several Aboriginal communities to see what progress had been made to preserve their culture and traditions, improve education and industrial development and provide them with long-term care services.

Aborigines account for about one-third of the county’s population.

Tsai, who is also the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson, was yesterday accompanied by Taitung County Commissioner Justin Huang (黃健庭) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), DPP Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪) — the party’s candidate for commissioner in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one-elections — and other officials.

Tsai praised Huang for initiating Taitung’s annual hot air balloon festival — which this year runs until Aug. 13 — saying that it has become a major attraction and would definitely continue after the November elections.

There has been speculation that the festival could be discontinued if Liu wins the election.

Prior to Tsai’s arrival, Huang said that one of the longstanding issues affecting tourism to the county is a shortage of train seats during the summer and he planned to bring the issue to the president’s attention in the hopes that the central government will take action.

Huang is not eligible to stand for re-election, as he is finishing his second term in office.

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