The Presidential Office should be relocated to Tainan to balance the nation’s development, Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday, as he argued for the relocation of multiple central government agencies from Taipei to other areas.
Lai outlined a blueprint for national development at a news conference in Tainan, saying that to solve the nation’s uneven north-south development, the administration of president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should place its economic, administrative and political centers in the nation’s northern, central and southern regions respectively.
Lai, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was yesterday joined by Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), also of the DPP, who at a separate event in Taichung said that the Tsai administration should consider moving the Legislative Yuan to his city.
The DPP should not become “prideful” from its electoral victories on Saturday, but instead “rule with humility,” Lai said, calling on five recently elected lawmakers representing Tainan to help “supervise the government” and ensure the realization of Tsai’s campaign promises to develop Tainan.
Specifically, Lai listed Tsai’s proposals to establish in Tainan a southern branch of the Academia Sinica, a green energy technology park, an exhibition center and a southern branch of the National Central Library as key goals for the city government.
Lai also called on Tsai’s future administration to relocate the Executive Yuan’s “vagrant ministries” to southern Taiwan, including moving the Ministry of Labor to Kaohsiung and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to Tainan, and to consider a southern location for the Environmental Protection Administration, which Lai said would help save billions of New Taiwan dollars in rent.
Lai said the Presidential Office should be relocated to his city, citing the historic example of the Republic of Formosa, which in 1895 established its capital in Tainan.
The north should continue to develop as the nation’s “economic center,” while the “administrative center” comprised of the Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan should be located in the center and the “political center” moved to the south, he said, adding that the scheme would “strike a balance in development through the three centers.”
Moving government agencies and the Presidential Office to the south are programs he had “consistently proposed as a legislator,” and not something that was conceived for Tsai’s presidency, Lai said.
“The high-speed rail turned Taiwan into a single-day commute metropolitan area, and communication between the three centers should not raise any concerns,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lin said that Tsai, upon assuming office, should relocate the Legislative Yuan to Taichung in the interests of balanced national development.
According to Lin, all five branches of the central government and an overwhelming majority of agencies are based in Taipei, which is disadvantageous due to the amount of rent the government must pay to Taipei and from a national security perspective.
Relocating the legislature to Taichung would save the central government money and reduce national security risks, with the added benefit of having the nation’s representative body closer to Taiwan’s geographic center, he said, adding that the Taiwan Provincial Consultative Council is already in Taichung, and that previous talks to move the Legislative Yuan to a cheaper location in Taipei had gone nowhere because of high rent in the capital.
Lin also expressed his optimism toward working with the Tsai administration, saying: “The relationship between the central and local governments is two-way. The new government and legislature will immensely aid central-local cooperation.”
Tsai’s “five social stability projects” — providing affordable housing, safe food products, community-based care, improving the fiscal health of welfare programs and ensuring public safety — are similar to his vision for Taichung, Lin said, adding that Tsai’s national program would complement his plans.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
TOURIST HOTSPOT: The air charter services would drastically cut travel time to the world-renowned beach with its service to Caticlan, instead of Kalibo Royal Air Philippines is to launch next month direct flights between Taiwan and the Philippine city of Caticlan, a closer entry point to tourist hotspot Boracay. The airline will initially offer six charter flights between Dec. 26 and Jan. 15, with the flight frequency increasing to one per day during the Lunar New Year and winter holidays from Jan. 19 to Feb. 8, it announced at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. The charter flight services will drastically cut travel time to Boracay to about two hours and 45 minutes. Before the new route is launched, travelers from Taiwan who