TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The harbor city of Keelung should become part of Taipei City if it wants to improve its development, the capital’s outspoken mayor, Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), said Wednesday (December 11).
First reactions were mixed, with netizens pointing out that the two cities didn’t even share a border, since a space between the two belonged to New Taipei City, which surrounds the capital.
Keelung’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mayor, Lin Yu-chang (林右昌), proposed another possibility, redrawing the map to merge Taipei City, New Taipei City and Keelung. He added that he wanted to invited his two colleagues for talks after the January 2020 presidential and legislative elections.
Ko was speaking in Keelung when he said the port city would enjoy the greatest benefits if the country’s administrative map were redrawn and it was included in Taipei City, the Central News Agency reported.
Local politicians commented that any such merger should be decided by the people of Keelung, the main port in Northern Taiwan often described as the “rainy harbor” due to its inclement weather.
Lin said that from an urban development point of view, Taipei needed Keelung more than the other way round. He also suggested another possibility was to bring together Taipei, Keelung, and the part of New Taipei City along the coast from Tamsui to Xizhi. This way, Taipei could evolve into an international capital which included an urban area, a harbor and a coastline, Lin said.
At present, the three mayors belong to different political parties, with Ko heading the Taiwan People’s Party and New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) representing the Kuomintang (KMT).