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Tainan Mayor William Lai Welcomes Visiting Delegation Led by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je


The Tainan and Taipei City Government Municipal Affairs Seminar was held today (Mar 4) at Tainan City Hall. Tainan Mayor William Lai, along with the heads of all departments in the city government, took part in the event and warmly welcomed the Taipei city delegation. Mayor Lai hoped that this interaction would offer much inspiration to the visiting delegation, and Tainan city government could also learn from Taipei and improve the capability to promote and roll out municipal affairs. 
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je led a delegation composed of Taipei city government officials on a two-day visit in Tainan. The two parties met this afternoon at two in Tainan City Hall for a face-to-face seminar. The event included presentations given by various departments and a souvenir exchange. While this is not the first time that a mayor of Taipei visited Tainan, it is the first time that the visiting mayor also brought a delegation with him to exchange views on municipal affairs with Tainan city government. The meeting of the two mayors is indeed significant, since Taipei is the economic and political capital of Taiwan, and Tainan is the culture capital. Furthermore, both mayors used to be doctors: Mayor Ko Wen-je was a surgeon and Mayor Lai was a physician, and this is the first seminar during which the two “doctor-mayors” exchanged ideas concerning municipal affairs. 
On behalf of Tainan citizens, Mayor Lai expressed his most sincere gratitude to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and Taipei city government, especially the Taipei City Fire Department, firefighters, police force, volunteers, and all Taipei citizens. Mayor Lai thanked Taipei for offering assistance and showing tremendous support after last year’s February 6 earthquake. He was deeply touched when he received a call from Mayor Ko not long after the quake occurred, in which Mayor Ko said, “if Tainan needs anything, Taipei’s got your back”. 
Mayor Lai also shared the governing ideas and projects of Tainan city with the visiting Taipei officials, including the four city development goals - transforming Tainan into a culture capital, a low-carbon city, a smart city, and a tourism paradise; and the Ten Major Flagship Projects. Furthermore, the Mayor reiterated that Tainan government and personnel should follow the four natures of governance: honesty and diligence, people-oriented policy, public welfare and open government, when they are serving the citizens. 
Mayor Lai pointed out that governing a city is not unlike treating a patient, it is crucial that you take care of the fundamental issues. When treating a patient, a doctor should not only give a prescription, but also keep the symptoms under control and encourage the patient to get proper nutrition and sufficient sleep and exercise. Mayor Lai is the first Tainan Mayor after the merger in 2010 and is confronted with a multitude of issues waiting to be solved. Nevertheless, he stressed that there are four important issues he will tackle during his time in office: manage flood control, build a convenient public transportation, thoroughly review the urban planning project, and ensure the livelihood of the citizens. These are the fundamental issues that need to be addressed as Tainan city develops.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je expressed that Tainan is the old culture capital of Taiwan. He admired how Tainan, under the leadership of Mayor Lai, successfully integrated history and culture into tourism and developed a unique itinerary that fully presents local characteristics, such as visiting Chimei Museum and the Wumile Community in Houbi District. Mayor Ko mentioned that Taiwan is not a very large island, and the two cities can look forward to more collaborations in the future. Hopefully this visit would serve as an opportunity for government officials of both cities to know each other, and they will continue to keep in touch afterwards. Mayor Ko also invited Tainan’s residents to come to Taipei and enjoy the Summer Universiade held between August 19 and 30. 
During today’s discussion, Taipei Department of Information and Tourism Commissioner Chien Yu-yen challenged Tainan city to a north/south local delicacy cook-off. Director-general of the Tourism Bureau Wang Shih-sih replied that Tainan delicacies are comfort food, not competition food. Besides, the presentation of a dish is more than the ingredients involved as the sentiments fused into the dish are also significant. Since local eats are quite territorial, she welcomed everyone to come to Tainan and enjoy the local food. 
At the end of the seminar, Mayor Lai invited the guests from Taipei to enjoy Pengbing, a local pastry. He thanked each delegate in person after a group photo shoot.