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Taoyuan mayor touts accomplishments in transportation, infrastructure

2018/11/13 19:39:09

(From left-right) Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), Wu Fu-tung (吳富彤), Chen Shei-saint (陳學聖), Yang Li-huan (楊麗環) and Chu Mei-hsueh (朱梅雪).

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) touted his achievements over the past four years Tuesday, particularly in infrastructure and transportation, promising to build on that foundation if reelected.

During a live televised platform presentation involving five of the Taoyuan mayoral candidates, Cheng highlighted the Taoyuan Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, a decade-long construction project which began commercial service under his administration.

He also pointed to the city's push for the Taoyuan Metro Green Line, on which construction started last month.

The city's transportation network has entered a new era of transformation, including the very popular bike-sharing service, Ubike, said Cheng claiming credit for bringing it to Taoyuan.

Improving the transportation of a city is the job of a responsible mayor, Cheng said, adding that residents will also soon be able to enjoy a new addition to Taoyuan's cultural scene, with construction set to start on Taoyuan Museum of Art.

Other proposed infrastructure projects already approved by the central government include a new municipal library, exhibition center, and an Asia Silicon Valley focused on technology innovation, Cheng touted.

Kuomintang (KMT) mayoral candidate Chen Shei-saint (陳學聖) rejected Cheng's development plans, saying the city cannot afford to go on a spending spree and should instead focus more on child healthcare, land tax refunds and other public amenities.

Chen, a KMT lawmaker, said if elected, he would raise land tax refunds by 30 percent, and that health insurance fees for children below 12 years of age would be covered by the government.

Money would be spent wisely under his leadership, Chen stressed, because politicians that over focus on prosperity and investment are likely to spur government-corporate collusion and turn the city into a hotbed of corruption, Chen added.

Meanwhile, independent mayoral candidate Chu Mei-hsueh (朱梅雪) also downplayed Cheng's development plans, saying he loves numbers but failed miserably to establish a nature reserve for algal reefs in coastal areas of Taoyuan despite promising to do so four years ago.

Yang Li-huan (楊麗環), another independent candidate and former KMT lawmaker, also discussed the nature reserve, accusing Cheng of sacrificing the city's natural landscape and public health in exchange for more polluting industries.

Switching back to the topic of development, independent candidate Wu Fu-tung (吳富彤) said he would focus on the local economy and job creation by building 40-storey buildings across Taoyuan dedicated to startups, research and innovation.

In terms of transportation, Wu said he would propose building a maglev train system like those in Japan and China that better connects the city to the north and south of Taiwan.

(By Chiu Chun-chin, Wu Jui-chi and Ko Lin)