Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

High Speed Rail could go bankrupt at end of April: minister

High Speed Rail could go bankrupt at end of April: minister

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) The bankruptcy of the financially ailing Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) could happen "at the end of April," new Transportation and Communications Minister Chen Jian-yu (???) said Friday. THSRC could face bankruptcy because it doesn't have the cash needed to meet potential preferred share redemption obligations. Chen's predecessor Yeh Kuang-shih (???) resigned earlier this month after lawmakers shot down a financial restructuring plan proposed by the ministry to keep the high-speed rail system from going bankrupt. Chen said that he didn't expect to have another financial restructuring plan and that the "government's takeover of the system is the only way" to keep it running and that "there is no other way at this stage." He said the ministry will ensure the operation of the system will not be interrupted, adding that the government "will prepare for the worst, but make the best preparations." Chen said that he will honestly and rationally communicate with the legislators. But he also worried that an amendment to the Statute for Encouragement of Private Participation in Transportation Infrastructure Projects, which will provide a legal basis for the government's takeover of the THSRC, has yet to clear the Legislature. Without its passage, there could be unnecessary clashes between the shareholders and the board of directors, he said. Chen added that he is considering possible candidates to fill the position vacated by Tong Fan (???), who resigned from his post as THSRC chairman on Jan. 7, the same day as Yeh. Meanwhile, he said Taiwan's demand that China move its newly announced flight routes over the Taiwan Strait westwards remains unchanged. He said the demand is based on flight safety considerations, and "we're preparing to talk to them now." China announced earlier this month the new north-south route M503 -- west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait -- and three east-west routes -- W121, W122 and W123 -- that connect with it. It said that it intends to implement the new routes from March 5. Taiwan's government has said that the new routes are unacceptable. It said route M503 is too close to the Taipei Flight Information Region, a key air transport hub in the West Pacific, while routes W121, W122 and W123 could affect flights between Taiwan and the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu. (By Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-21 18:41 GMT+08:00