Penghu County Commissioner Lai Feng-wei’s (賴峰偉) plans to revive a Matsu statue project that was halted in 2015 have drawn the ire of an environmentalist group for “causing a rift among Penghu residents.”
Lai recently announced five possible locations for the statue and called on residents to “rally together” behind the project, which was originally planned to be the centerpiece of a tourist attraction on Dacang Island (大倉島).
The Dacang site was picked in 2011 by then-Pingtung County commissioner Wang Chien-fa (王乾發), who envisioned a 66m bronze statue of Matsu, but the project was scrapped in 2015 after it was found the planners had bypassed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and public hearings, and that it could damage Penghu’s ecosystem.
Photo: Liu Yu-ching, Taipei Times
With the project suspended, the completed bronze statue has remained at a warehouse in Changhua County’s Dacun Village (大村).
Citizens of the Ocean Foundation chairman Hu Chao-an (胡昭安) yesterday criticized Lai for calling for public support on what he said was a socially divisive project.
The sites listed by Lai for consideration, in addition to the original, were the Jingueitou Fortress (金龜頭砲台) near Magong City; Longmen Village (龍門) and Siyu Township (西嶼) in the east of the county; and Shetoushan (蛇頭山).
The announcement that the project would resume has met with opposition from some county councilors, as it has yet to undergo an EIA, Hu said.
Lai said that while a final location had not yet been chosen, the county government was leaning toward Dacang, as the island has plenty of space available at a low cost and choosing the original site would mean construction could resume sooner.
Although there is no bridge to Dacang, overall it is the best choice, especially as it fits the proposed budget for the project, Lai said.
Hu said the foundation would petition the public to oppose the project if Lai persists in going ahead with it.
Engineer Yu Kuo-lin (郁國麟) said the county government’s decision to select Dacang first and then conduct an EIA was the wrong approach.
Steps such as geological surveys, which involve drilling, land rezoning and declassification of forests intended for upholding national security have not been taken, Yu said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,