Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Taiwan: Still Places Needing Concrete

Insect eggs on a leaf, with newly hatched bugs balled in the center.

The Taipei Times reported on new legislation that makes it easier to pave over Taiwan:
The revision to the Offshore Islands Development Act (離島建設條例) passed its first review by the Economic Committee amid controversy from opposition lawmakers and environmental groups who fear it could lead to rampant overdevelopment on some of Taiwan’s pristine coastlines.

Proposed by Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator Lin Pin-kun (林炳坤), the amendment would loosen strict land use requirements put on large-scale developments. It would also increase the amount of floor space bonuses local governments can award to land developers.

The proposal would also give local governments the authority to make decisions on large-scale developments not exceeding 50 hectares, a move that environmentalists said could lead to environmental impact assessments being conducted by less thorough local environmental agencies.
The Taipei Times article identifies Lin as an NPSU legislator, though in other reports he's KMT, but the bill is NPSU sponsored. Since the NPSU is a haven for local faction politicians that neither the KMT nor the DPP wanted to touch, it seems obvious that this is just another legislative gift to the local factions for land speculation/development.

Note how the law permits land developments under 50 hectares to be assessed by local EPAs, essentially meaning no assessment at all -- it will be easy for developers to buy local EPA offices, or do things like join two 49 hectare plots, etc. Legislator Lin has long backed some sort of massive China-linked development program for the Penghu. Before the casinos, Lin was tossing out the idea of turning the Penghu into a transhipment center for China goods and passengers.
Daily Links
  • Taiwan What's Up is out
  • France closes military liaison office here. Although the media is hinting it is retaliation for the Taiwan "victory" in the Lafayette case, word is it is more likely to be budgetary.
  • The Taipei Times points out that referendums in economic integration are not unusual
  • Heritage argues that the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue won't bring China into the international order, instead will only bring the US closer to China's approach. How much longer will it be before our elites realize that China isn't going to join the international order on US terms and the great experiment has failed?
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!

1 comment:

Red Fox said...

When was the last time France ever sold a significant weapons system to Taiwan, anyway? This is childish on Paris' part, withdrawing an office as retaliation for justice it deserved.

Although I hope this doesn't prevent the French from providing logistics support for the Mirage 2000s and Lafayette frigates - which, I think, by binding contract, they are required to do.