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Magistrate Chen: Develop Kinmen into a Platform for Exchanges between Taiwan and Mainland China

Magistrate Chen: Develop Kinmen into a Platform for Exchanges between Taiwan and Mainland China
06/30/2017
Reporter: Yang Shuei-Yong/County Government

Yesterday Kinmen Magistrate Chen Fu-Hai convened the sixth county administration meeting of 2017. During the three-hour-long meeting, Magistrate Chen awarded medals to local elderly welfare institutions and community-based day care service centers that passed the 2016 evaluations with excellent marks in recognition of their achievements. Two draft bills, Regulations Governing Scholarships, Grants, and Subsidies for Special Education Students in Kinmen County and Fee Standards for Sheltering and Handling Dogs and Cats in Kinmen County, were also discussed and adopted, and will be promulgated and enforced according to the administrative procedures. Furthermore, Magistrate Chen pointed out that there was not enough time to develop Kinmen, so right policies need not to be tested. As an adaptable city, Kinmen should become a pioneer and go beyond politics for its residents to serve as a platform for exchanges between the two sides of the Strait in the face of the recent development of cross-strait relations.

The county administration meeting began at 9 a.m. yesterday in the first meeting room of the county hall. Deputy Magistrate Wu Cherng-Dean, Secretary-General Lin De-Gong, as well as heads and deputy heads of the county government departments all attended the meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, Magistrate Chen awarded a medal and prize to the Songboyuan Long-Term Care Center for the Elderly, which was ranked class A in the central government’s evaluation of elderly welfare institutions in 2016, and to the Lanhu Day Care Center and Sifang Day Care Center, both ranked as excellent in the county government’s evaluation of community-based day care centers in 2016, in recognition of their efforts. Magistrate Chen added that these awards represent honor and appreciation for these exemplary models.

During the county administration meeting, Magistrate Chen also commended the Public Works Department and Forestry Bureau for their achievements in successfully and safely carrying out the Huandao N. Road Widening and Improvement Project and completing the greening and beautification project, respectively. Magistrate Chen also stated that he has found the right acting mayor, Yang Jhih-Bin, for Jinsha Township as the acting mayor has helped local farmers turn their farmland into land of flowers. Besides, the Agricultural Research Institute has put in a lot of efforts to attract tourists to Kinmen to experience the beautiful scenery along the tourist avenue. He then pointed out that many residents gave positive feedback about the widened road, green and beautified environment, and land of flowers, which are the future goals of the administration.

Team spirit means every department makes its best efforts, and its dedication will surely result in certain results as long as determination is there, said Magistrate Chen. He also suggested placing a bottle of Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor amid flowers to create a stunning view so that visitors may be impressed by the beautiful scenery of Kinmen.

At the county administration meeting, the attending officials also discussed a draft bill proposed by the Education Department, the Regulations Governing Scholarships, Grants, and Subsidies for Special Education Students in Kinmen County, which aim to offer scholarships, grants, or subsidies as incentives to special education students who display excellent conduct and academic performance or who have made special achievements, as well as the Fee Standards for Sheltering and Handling Dogs and Cats in Kinmen County, a draft bill proposed by the Economic Affairs Department. These two draft bills were adopted after discussion, and will be promulgated and enforced according to the administrative procedures.

When explaining the Fee Standards for Sheltering and Handling Dogs and Cats in Kinmen County, Li Bin, Director of the Economic Affairs Department, stated that such regulations are established to promote respect for life, protect animals, and embody the user pay principle. Moreover, such regulations serve as a supporting measure for the “No Kill” policy concerning stray animals and aim to stress the responsibility of pet owners and reinforce the concept that pet ownership is a lifelong commitment.

Secretary-General Lin De-Gong suggested a slight decrease in the fee standards in order to exert its effect of encouraging pet owners. Jinhu Township Mayor Cai Si-Hu shared the same opinion as Lin, saying that the enforcement of fees may result in random pet abandonment, which is another problem. Jincheng Township Mayor Shih Jhao-Min argued that the old concept of pets should be replaced by the new one which regards pets as part of the family.

Magistrate Chen stated that the Fee Standards for Sheltering and Handling Dogs and Cats in Kinmen County are a very significant bill that aims at zero killing by replacing euthanasia with providing shelter. As for the fee standards and collection methods, Chen suggested formulating regulations that provide fee exemption for a period of three or six months and putting in more efforts to promote the fee standards while helping pet owners develop a commitment to their pets through more humanistic and intelligent interactions. Moreover, a clause may be added to require a review one year after the standards become effective, so as to ensure the fee standards will better serve their legislative purpose.

Huandao N. Road is one of the main roads that connect Jinsha Township with Jincheng Township. The widening project for Sections 3 and 4 of this road has been the most important road reconstruction project since Magistrate Chen assumed office. The part of Huandao N. Road Section 3 between Gaoyang Road and Doumen Road was opened to traffic at the end of last year, and the part between Doumen Road and Yangshan Road is expected to be opened to traffic soon. In addition, the current completion rate for the part between Yangshan Road and Chenggong Road is 29.619%. The entire section is expected to be opened to traffic by the end of this year. Magistrate Chen urged the officials to make more efforts to communicate with the legislative representatives and community residents and publicize the project so that they have an understanding of the background and progress of the project and offer their support in return. By so doing, the government’s transport infrastructure projects may be carried out more efficiently, and local growth may be stimulated.

In regard to turning cemeteries into parks, Magistrate Chen believed it is feasible and humanistic and requested the Civil Affairs Department to manage and draw up plans for the five cemeteries at the same time in order to achieve the goal of turning cemeteries into parks, which is also one of his administrative objectives. As for the planning of columbaria on the east side of Banshan, Magistrate Chen deemed it attainable and called for relevant departments to deliberate on this matter in order to prepare for the shortage of columbaria in the future.

In addition, Kinmen County’s Incentive Program for Relocating Roadside Tombs has been implemented since last January. 348 relocation applications were received as of the end of May of this year. The administration will continue to request assistance from all township offices and mortuary services offices in promoting and actively implementing the program, so as to improve the roadside view.

Considering pedestrian and vehicle safety, Lieyu Township Mayor Hong Cheng-Fa urged the administration to complete the sealcoating at the earliest time possible after the sewage system is completed in Little Kinmen. Magistrate Chen responded that officials should communicate with all township mayors and explain to them every major project in order to successfully complete major infrastructure projects together. Regarding the widening of the Huandao N. Road section between Quemoy University and China Youth Corps, Magistrate Chen asked the Public Works Department to monitor the project schedule and questioned if the project could be completed by the next Lunar New Year. Jhang Jhong-Min, Director of the Public Works Department, answered that their goal is to complete the project by the next Lunar New Year.

When talking about water supply from Jinjiang and establishment of a water purification plant, Syu Jheng-Fang, Director of the Water Works, stated that land and regulations are the main issues and will be placed on the next agenda. Magistrate Chen stressed that water sources are a paramount issue in Kinmen since its development depends on the availability of water resources, and that efforts should be made to ensure the water diversion from Mainland China goes smoothly. Breakthrough and feasibility analyses of the establishment of a plant in Jinjiang will be performed after a more open cross-strait policy is implemented.

As for the delineation of usual blossom areas and experimental areas, Magistrate Chen believed that the images of each township and Kinmen could be incorporated into local landscaping to create a series of sightseeing spots and develop the island into a flower garden on the sea, thus attracting more tourists and boosting the economic benefits of tourism. In regard to renting a space for parking, Magistrate Chen suggested discussing the method to rent parking spaces before exchanging their ownership as well as the possibility of increasing incentives, so as to facilitate the implementation of this policy and subsequently achieve the administrative goal.

Syu Mei-Fong, Deputy Director of the Social Affairs Department, explained the addition of day care centers, stating that the Lanhu Day Care Center and Sifang Day Care Center have been established in Jinhu Township and Lieyu Township, respectively. The interior design for the Jhushan Day Care Center in Jincheng Township is ongoing, and the center will start operations once the design work is completed. Moreover, relevant personnel are actively searching for appropriate places in Jinsha and Jinning to construct day care centers, and are striving to negotiate with the parties concerned in order to find the locations for such establishments. Magistrate Chen pointed out that the establishment of day care centers is an administrative goal that aims at benefiting senior citizens; thus, the administration must overcome all difficulties to achieve this administrative goal.

Magistrate Chen then asked all township mayors to conduct general surveys and sort data regarding all the ditches, water resources, and hydraulic infrastructure that have existed since the era of the battlefield administration after the meeting, so as to apply to the central government for funds for hydraulic engineering projects. Magistrate Chen also quoted what Premier Lin Chuan once said: “It is a shame for the government to fail in drainage management and flood control.” The Public Works Department stated that for low-lying areas such as Jinsha River and Cihu Farm, NT$8.5 billion and NT$500 million will be allocated according to Point 14 and Point 7 of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, respectively. The goals of retaining water and preventing or controlling floods at the same time will be achieved once the projects are completed.

Magistrate Chen also stressed the necessity of promoting road infrastructure after the water and power shortage crises in Kinmen are solved. He then asked each township to submit summary reports on roads that require leveling for the purpose of facilitating local infrastructure development. Magistrate Chen further requested the incorporation of Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor in every upcoming event to generate synergistic benefits and market Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor.

As the K-bike has been launched in Kinmen, the Tourism Department said that it will discuss with relevant departments the designated parking spaces, signs, and markings and complete the installation as soon as possible, so it will be easier for the public to distinguish and utilize the bicycles. The Tourism Department will also promptly propose the method for future operations and make preparations in advance. Magistrate Chen also suggested launching the oBike, a bicycle sharing system, in Kinmen first and evaluating the feasibility. Moreover, the bicycle sharing system can be connected across the Taiwan Strait and provide transit services for tourists with a multiple entry visa after Xiamen starts issuing such visa.

Magistrate Chen further stated that he will assume the responsibility for coming up with major strategies while the infrastructure development relies on the joint efforts of all townships. Since the cross-strait relations may take a sudden turn, Kinmen needs to be ready for any change and actively serve as an important bridge for exchange between Taiwan and Mainland China. The significant strategies regarding both sides of the Strait represent opportunities for Kinmen. As long as the infrastructure is ready, the tourism and economic development of Kinmen will naturally be facilitated.

The Environmental Protection Bureau is planning to return the trash in the ocean as “drifting objects” to Mainland China. Director Lu Cing-Fu said that they will communicate with the counterpart in Mainland China first and consider following the example of Gang Tai Tai Zhou, a cargo ship, to handle this matter. If the counterpart agrees to accept and handle the trash to be returned to Mainland China, the Bureau will send its personnel to Mainland China in the near future to discuss the details, so as to overcome relevant legal restrictions and successfully return the “drifting objects” from Mainland China for further handling. Magistrate Chen added that the ocean trash problem may be solved strategically, and that the Fujian Provincial Government should also be responsible for ocean trash and help restore the beauty of Kinmen’s coasts.

In addition, Magistrate Chen pointed out that anyone who keeps the interests of Kinmen in mind is a competent person for Kinmen, and that he is willing to offer opportunities to anyone who wishes to achieve something. He urged everyone to achieve something for Kinmen and develop Kinmen together into a platform for exchanges between Taiwan and Mainland China as the future development of Taiwan and cross-strait relations depends on Kinmen.

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  • Date:2017-12-12