• Directory of Taiwan

Tainan city, county win status as special municipality

Tainan city, county win status as special municipality

Taipei, June 29 (CNA) Tainan City and Tainan County finally had their demands met Monday after the Executive Yuan decided to approve their applications for a merger, giving the two administrative areas joint status as a special municipality.
Government Information Office Minister Su Jun-pin also announced the upgrading to special municipality status of Taipei County, Taichung City and Taichung County into a single municipality, and Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County into a single municipality, following a Cabinet meeting hosed by Premier Liu Chao-shiuan.
Liu ratified the upgrading, adhering to decisions made by an ad hoc panel organized by the Ministry of the Interior to review applications from local governments seeking upgraded municipal status.
The review panel approved June 23 the applications submitted by Taipei County, Taichung City, Taichung County, Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County, while rejecting those from Taoyuan County, Changhua County, Yunlin County and Chiayi County.
The panel, however, failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether Tainan City and Tainan County should be merged and upgraded.
Liu said the Cabinet finally approved the Tainan case based on the premise that it is an important historic and cultural landmark.
At present, only Taipei City and Kaohsiung City enjoy special municipality status.
An area with a population of over 1.25 million and with specific political, economic, cultural and urban developments can obtain special municipality status, giving a bigger share of national resources.
At the Cabinet meeting, Liu explained the government's idea of establishing "three metropolises" in Taiwan, which he said will help sharpen the nation's competitive edge and balance regional development thanks to their locations -- evenly spread over northern, central and southern regions.
The establishment of the metropolises is designed to promote regional modernization, Liu added, noting that other local governments will be encouraged to launch inter-city and inter-county cooperation programs to expand local construction.
He pointed out that in the future, Taiwan's regional development will be promoted in seven integrated areas -- the Taipei, Keelung and Yilan area; the Taoyuan Hsinchu and Miaoli areas; the Taichung, Changhua and Nantou areas; the Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan areas; the Kaohsiung and Pingtung areas; the Hualien and Taitung areas; and the outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.
Each area will be asked to organize a working platform for plans to push for integrated regional development, Liu went on, noting that these platforms will be given financial support by the central government.
The special municipalities will also be authorized to coordinate work to promote the integrated regional development, he said.
(By Elizabeth Hsu)