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Saturday, February 03, 2007

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Moving the Capital

The Taipei Times reported on a small but growing push to move the capital out of northern Taiwan.

The idea of relocating the capital from Taipei has received a warm response from local authorities, with Taichung, Chiayi, Chiayi County, Kaohsiung and Kaohsiung County all showing a high degree of interest.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said recently that the government would begin studying the possibility of relocating some government agencies, such as the Council of Labor Affairs and the Council of Agriculture, to better serve people in southern Taiwan before considering relocating the capital.

A number of pro-independence groups in Kaohsiung have urged the Ministry of Education and the Council for Cultural Affairs to move to Tainan, where they said Taiwan's traditional culture and rites were well preserved.

The groups argued that it was very important for the two government agencies to be relocated to in Tainan, which they called the historical home of Taiwan's culture, in order to preserve the nation's unique culture and traditions.

According to these groups, most of the bureaucrats at government agencies in Taipei have a Chinese mindset and the city has long been besieged by Chinese influences.

They argued that firmly establishing a government focused on Taiwan after more than 50 years of Chinese rule should be a major campaign issue in the coming elections.

The comments in the last two paragraphs address the issue that the north of Taiwan tends to be more pro-KMT and pro-China than the rest of the island, while the south is strongly pro-independence. Tainan was the traditional capital of the island from the 17th century until Taipei was laid out in the late 19th century and the capital moved there. It would be a good choice in some ways, given its long history and many historic sites, but Tainan's infrastructure lags. On the other hand, moving the capital there might make it more difficult to seize the political center of the island with a sudden assault.

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4 Comments:

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

they will never move the capital. never. alaska has been trying to do this for 30 years. impossible. waste of good newspaper ink.

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Robo said...

I'm wondering, though, if this would do anything about putting a spotlight on some of the organized crime I've heard about it cities like TaiChung. I've heard of some pretty nasty stuff down there, and it seems like moving the capital down there would be a good thing.

Also, it seems like have a city that is a financial center (Taipei), seperate from the political center (said new capital) would be a good idea. After all, that's one of the arguments for this isn't it?

I'm new to Taiwan politics (Taiwan in general), but I appreciate you guys helping me understand all this mess.

I mean mess in the most affectionate way possible.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might be nice if Tainan got, oh, say, a bus service first.

 
At 1:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I favor moving the capital south to Tainan cause it's the most northern place that's sunny all the time. You actually remember you're on a tropical island paradise down there.

 

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