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Eight Mayors and Magistrates of Central Taiwan Gather in Hsinchu to Usher in a Vibrant New Era
  • PostDate:2023-08-24
  • Modified Date:2023-09-27


The “Central Taiwan Regional Governance Platform” held its 2023 Leadership Meeting and Launch Festival ceremony on August 24 at the Hsinchu City Government building to great fanfare. The ceremony was hosted in person by Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke, who, along with the other mayors and magistrates, participated in the Baozhongting Yimin Temple Festival inauguration ceremony before proceeding to the meeting. Magistrate Yang expressed his thanks to the mayors and magistrates for honoring Yimin Temple with their presence, and added that the Central Taiwan Regional Governance Platform had provided Nantou County with considerable assistance in disaster relief work, seeing major success in the process. The eight counties and cities in central Taiwan are home to a total of approximately 7.3 million citizens, and the region takes up one-third of Taiwan’s land mass. The regional governance platform was planned and launched with the goal of serving all residents and providing the help they might need. Magistrate Yang stressed that he and his counterparts will ensure that their passion for serving the people is carried on in the future.


Taichung City Mayor Lu Shiow-yen, Hsinchu City Mayor Kao Hung-an, Miaoli County Magistrate Chung Tung-chin, Nantou County Magistrate Hsu Shu-hua, Changhua County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, and Chiayi City Mayor Huang Min-hui all attended the meeting in person, whereas Yunlin County Magistrate Chang Shan-li was unable to attend due to work commitments and Changhua’s Deputy Magistrate Hsieh Shu-ya stepped in to take her place. In Magistrate Yang’s welcome speech, he pointed out that this year marks the first time that Hsinchu County has hosted the platform’s annual meeting, and for this reason, he specially asked the leaders of central Taiwan for the honor of their attendance. Earlier in the day, during the Yimin Temple festivities, the mayors and magistrates had each presented goods and souvenirs specific to their place of governance as a show of respect and honor to the Father of Yimin, in an act that Magistrate Yang lauded as meaningful. According to Magistrate Yang, the platform worked together this time to pass a total of 34 proposals, and proved to be extremely efficient in communication, coordination, and execution. He confirmed the projects and the decisions made during the platform members’ meeting, and thanked his counterparts and partners for their hard work.


Additionally, Magistrate Yang said that Typhoon Khanun, which hit Taiwan in August, had caused significant damage to Renai Township in Nantou County. Nantou County Magistrate Hsu Shu-hua sought help from the platform and submitted a list of the support her county needed in the typhoon’s aftermath. In response, Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen promised all the support her city could muster, and Hsinchu County also dispatched teams of staff and machinery to aid in the relief work. All eight counties and cities worked together to provide assistance, demonstrating how the platform has served its purpose well in regional governance efforts. Aside from crises and natural disasters, the counties and cities have and will continue to work together on pandemic prevention and relief, as well as numerous forms of support in cultural and economic activities, all doing their best to provide their residents with a more promising future.


Hsinchu City Mayor Kao Hung-an delivered a speech in which she praised the warmth she felt between the members of the Central Taiwan Regional Governance Platform, and their willingness to share their resources and assist each other when in need. Mayor Kao cited the disaster relief work conducted in Nantou County as an example, explaining that Hsinchu City and Chiayi City, being sister cities, will continue to learn from other cities and counties. Miaoli County Magistrate Chung Tung-chin also pointed out that, as Miaoli is neighbors with Taichung to the north and Hsinchu to the south, they are bound together in a common living space. He called for residents and governments alike to rally together and forge a society that seeks equality and justice, adding that he hopes for central Taiwan to continue its cooperative efforts.


Taichung City Mayor Lu Shiow-yen opened her speech by greeting the crowd in Hakka, continuing to say that the eight cities and counties in central Taiwan are a shared social circle, and that many cities and counties can learn from one another when it comes to governance issues. Seven member counties and cities attended the last platform meeting, and this year the number has grown by one, with all members working together on projects such as pandemic prevention, disaster relief work, construction projects, among many others, and the collaboration and communication will continue. Changhua County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei stressed how construction work should not give way to partisanship, as many proposals were broached by the platform to the central government, also mentioning how Changhua is now in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hsinchu County and both counties have a history of collaboration. Changhua County is home to a wealth of intangible cultural assets. She extended an invitation to citizens and government staff alike to visit the county, which is currently holding a shopping festival, the 2023 Changhua Go-Shop.


Nantou County Magistrate Hsu Shu-hua said she felt firsthand the warmth of the Central Taiwan Regional Governance Platform members in the aftermath of the Typhoon Khanun earlier this summer. Not only did Hsinchu County immediately lend a hand, the assisting machinery loaned to Nantou by Taichung City and Yunlin County were in use until last week. She added that she hoped for everyone to exchange their thoughts and work together on various issues in the name of the common good. Yunlin County Deputy Magistrate Hsieh Shu-ya picked up from where Magistrate Hsu left off, discussing the dengue fever prevention efforts and large scale disinfection and sterilization project ongoing in Yunlin County, She thanked Taichung and Nantou for their help in conducting the projects. She added that Yimin Temple is one of the important cultural assets that belong to the Taiwanese people, and on Magistrate Chang Li-shan’s behalf, she extended an invitation to everyone to visit Yunlin County and sample the county’s excellent soy sauce and coffee. Chiayi City Mayor Huang Min-huei explained in her speech that in 1982, Chiayi City and Hsinchu City pledged to become sister cities. Although Chiayi is a small city with a relatively small population, they joined the Central Taiwan Regional Governance Platform in hopes of developing their influence in Taiwan. The year after next, Chiayi will get its turn to host the annual platform meeting, and Mayor Huang invited everyone to visit and enjoy Chiayi.


This year is the first time that Hsinchu County has hosted the annual meeting after joining the platform, and it is also the first year of Hsinchu City’s membership. The Central Taiwan Regional Governance Platform has grown from having seven city and county members to its current eight members, and the alliance between the members has formed a strong bond for collaboration in the development and launch of projects related to the environment, the economy, transportation, tourism, agriculture, public hygiene, and many other fields. This platform will deepen the cross-field collaboration for cities and counties in Central Taiwan and open the curtains on a new era in which the region continues to grow and thrive as a whole.


The government leaders’ meeting this year saw the eight mayors and magistrates swear an oath together to jointly promote the local “old streets” and special local products in the eight cities and counties, bringing together the tourism hotspots in central Taiwan and emphasizing the specific charm of the old streets in the region. Outside the meeting venue, government staff displayed specialty products representing the old streets of each city and county in an effort to elevate the development and business of central Taiwan’s old streets and their surrounding shopping areas. In the host county of Hsinchu, Zhubei City will be holding an “Autumnal Starry Night Festival” from September 9–10. Magistrate Yang invited businesses operating in the old streets across the eight cities and counties to join their counterparts in Hsinchu County and set up stalls for participation in the festivities to provide citizens and tourists with a one-stop-shop of all the regional specialties in central Taiwan.


This year (2023), the eight cities and counties in central Taiwan put their heads together and proposed 34 cross-region collaborative projects, including a joint plea for the central government to grant promotions to staff working in animal protection services and doing epidemic prevention work, as well as a petition for the central government to relax its requirements for information technology staff to receive job-related allowances and bonuses, so as to retain talented and skilled workers. Additionally, the platform members asked for the Ministry of Education to continue subsidizing the hiring budget for substitute teachers year-round. Thus far, the two latter requests have received a positive response from the central government. “Animal protection and epidemic prevention” are also hot topics that have drawn considerable attention in recent years, and something that the eight cities and counties in central Taiwan will continue to fight for until they achieve the central government’s support and are able to promote those working in the frontlines for animal protection and epidemic prevention services.