Hsieh slams KMT as 'green card club' at rally

DPP presidential candidate lauds progress of Kaohsiung stadium

DPP presidential candidates Frank Hsieh, center left, and Hsieh's running mate Su Tseng-chang, center right, together with their campaign workers atte

Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday lauded the rapid progress of construction of the Main Stadium for next summer's World Games initiated under his mayoralty and stated that the completion of such projects for international competition was test of "executive ability" and "credibility" and chided Kuomintang rival Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) for failing to realize a planned Taipei "big egg"stadium.
During a campaign rally attended by thousands of supporters in Matou Township under the banner of "Oppose the One-China Market," Hsieh also took aim at Kuomintang rival Ma Ying-jeou for not taking advantage of his offer in an election campaign forum Friday evening that he would drop out of the race if Ma was also to show evidence of the expiry of his United States legal permanent residence certificate or "green card."
Citing Ma, KMT Taipei County mayor Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), KMT Legislator Lee Ching-an and several other KMT mayors and parliamentarians whom have been revealed to have "green cards," Hsieh asked the audience "why do we have to be ruled by this 'green card club"'?
Hsieh visited the site of the major soccer stadium for the upcoming World Games in the Zuoying District of Kaohsiung City on an inspection visit and campaign tour of the southern industrial city, which he administered as mayor from December 1998 to January 2005.
After hearing a briefing on the progress of the project, Hsieh, who won the right to host the games for Kaohsiung City during his term as Kaohsiung City mayor from December 1998 to January 2005, affirmed the design and construction progress of the clamshell stadium, which is now just over 60 percent complete and is on schedule for completion in January 2009.
Accompanied by DPP Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Huchu Construction Company President Lin Ching-po, Hsieh added that the stadium, once complete and open for operations for the World Games, which will be held in the southern port city in July 2009, "will become an international level tourist attraction" and will "manifest Taiwan's advanced technology and progressive spirit."
The DPP presidential candidate said that the new stadium, designed by Japan's Toyo Ito And Associates, "will not be any less magnificent in appearance than Beijing's 'birdnest' stadium now under construction for the August 2008 summer Olympic games and will feature more sophisticated technology and environmental features, including the use of solar panels to supply much of its energy needs.
Hsieh praised Lin for persisting with the NT$5 billion project for the stadium and an accompanying World Games Exhibition Hall despite an attempt by the opposition Kuomintang - controlled Legislative Yuan to freeze the central government budget allocation for the World Games projects in 2006.\
Hsieh contrasted the ability of the Kaohsiung project to keep on schedule and meet the timetable for the World Games with Taipei City, whose former mayor Ma Ying-jeou, is now his rival in the March 22 presidential sweepstakes.
The DPP noted that Ma's core project to build a "big egg" stadium in the capital city, has yet to begin construction and will probably not be finished in times for the scheduled Deaf Olympics next year.
Referring to the accusations of scandal over the project and the just completed Kaohsiung Rapid Mass Transit System, which topped over one million passengers during its first six days of use, Hsieh said that "after the suffering, beauty remains."
Besides promising to boost assistance to Taipei City to help accelerate the project, Hsieh related that the contrast showed the importance of "executive ability" and stated that "international level competitions must take place on schedule and if you are late in construction, you will lose credibility and apologizing will not solve anything."
Asked by reporters to comment on the shouts of support by workers in the project, Hsieh stated that the question of a "one China market" or a "common market" with the People's Republic of China proposed by Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou has worried many workers in the industrial port.