Taipei, New Taipei mayors support an eventual merger
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The mayors of Taipei and New Taipei yesterday held a fresh round of talks about cooperation between the two cities, with both expressing support for an eventual merger.
January 24, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said after the meeting that his city and New Taipei, as well as Keelung, will seek consensus through cooperation, and any merger will adopt a bottom-up approach — meaning the decision to merge is theirs, rather than the central government's.
The New Taipei city government noted that its mayor, Eric Chu, and Hau both expressed support for a merger at the meeting.
They agreed that all forms of cooperation between the two cities will be designed to pave the way for an eventual merger, the New Taipei city government said.
It was the second time the two mayors have met as part of the “Greater Taipei Twin City Committee Meeting.” The latest round took place in New Taipei, while the first round was held in Taipei.
In 2010, New Taipei was converted from Taipei County into a Cabinet-level special municipality, rising to the same level as Taipei. As Hau and Chu are possible candidates for the 2016 presidential election, talk of merging the two cities has invited much political speculation.
Hau said the two cities are both cooperating and competing with each other, but it is friendly competition in which one will share its good policies with the other.
The Taipei mayor said cooperation should not be loaded with “excessive political associations.”
Hau named areas of cooperation between the two cities, saying both sides can further tighten their existing cooperation in transportation infrastructure, urban planning, water resources, public safety, crime fighting, education and medical services.
He said Chu has also pledged support for Taipei's preparations for the World University Games, which it is hosting in 2017. Hau said that in turn Taipei will support New Taipei's bid to host the 2023 Asian Games.