Taipei fireworks shows to continue, mayor says

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT?:Taipei 101 and Nan Shan Life sought to allay concern over safety issues and talked about possible cooperation on hosting the annual event

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Oct 24, 2013 - Page 3

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday dismissed speculation that the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show at Taipei 101 may be canceled in the future because of safety concerns over a 45-story building being erected nearby, promising that the show would only get grander.

The new building is being built on a plot of land currently housing the Taipei World Trade Center’s Hall 2, and will be the new headquarters of Nan Shan Life Insurance Co when it is completed in 2016.

The city government leased the land to the company for 50 years with a royalty of NT$26.8 billion (US$894 million).

Several Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors expressed concern that when the new building is completed, the two buildings will be too close to hold a fireworks show.

Hau said the fireworks show at Taipei 101 has become a New Year’s Eve tradition, and the city government would coordinate with Taipei 101 and Nan Shan Life Insurance to uphold it.

“The new building will not affect the fireworks show at Taipei 101. Instead, I think the two companies can work together to come up with more creative and splendid firework displays in the future,” he said.

Taipei 101 spokesman Michael Liu (劉家豪) agreed, saying the company might cooperate with Nan Shan Life Insurance to cohost the fireworks show in the future.

He added that the fireworks are set off above the 32nd floor of the Taipei 101 and with a distance of about 170m between the two buildings, it should be safe enough for fireworks displays.

Meanwhile, Nan Shan said it is carrying out its building project in accordance with city regulations, and there should be enough safety distance between the two buildings.

Taipei 101’s fireworks shows led to Taipei being selected by CNN as one of the top 10 destinations in the world in which to welcome a new year. The city government and the Taipei 101 have been working to keep the tradition alive amid concerns over financial or safety problems.