INTERVIEW: Hsinchu mayor says he achieved 90% of platform

By Hung Mei-hsiu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tue, Oct 14, 2014 - Page 3

Hsinchu Mayor Hsu Ming-tsai (許明財) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said his only opponent in next month’s election would be himself and outlined his campaign slogan: “Intelligence, happiness, health and security.”

Hsu said in an interview with the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that he has fulfilled nearly 90 percent of his campaign promises made five years ago before the last election, including improvements to the Hsinchu 3rd Expressway, the eastward extension of Gongdao 5th Road and the connection of the old harbor bridge and Jhugaung road to a scenic boulevard.

Hsu said the east-west expressway extension would begin next month, while work on the R1 expressway connecting the city to the West Coastal Highway and Jiadong Township (茄冬) scenic expressway is due to begin as well.

“These infrastructure improvements will change Hsinchu residents’ lifestyle,” Hsu said.

Hsu added that he promoted free bus rides and free vaccinations for junior-high school girls, including pneumonia vaccinations.

Subsidies for elderly people, subsidies for giving birth and free rehabilitation programs have all been implemented, Hsu said.

Hsu also said that his efforts to promote low-carbon emissions to make Hsinchu a healthier city resulted in the city ranking seventh globally in a list of “smart cities,” as well as membership in the WHO’s Alliance for Healthy Cities.

The alliance is an international cooperation composed of groups of cities, urban districts and organizations aimed at enhancing health and healthcare for urban dwellers through a health promotion approach called Healthy Cities. The chair city for the alliance is Ichikawa, Japan.

Hsu said that during his term he has helped organize regular activities for young people from disadvantaged families to work summer jobs in an attempt to narrow the gap between wealthy and poor people.

Hsu said he hoped to link Hsinchu fishing harbor to Pingtan (平潭) in China’s Fujian Province to allow commercial and passenger transport operations.

Hsu said he hoped to achieve the goals within the next four years.

Hsu also said that if he is elected to office, he would call for the relocation of CPC Corp, Taiwan’s (CPC, 台灣中油) oil reserve building to use some of the land for a new city government center and a new city council building.

In so doing, the city government would relocate the urban center and turn the old town area of Jhuchien District (竹塹) into a historical-cultural tourist area.

The city government would also push to build an off-ramp from the Wuyang Expressway to downtown Hsinchu to shorten travel time from the area to the Hsinchu Science Park, Hsu said.

Hsu said he hoped to establish a hospital for women and children, as well as expand National Taiwan University Hospital’s Hsinchu branch.