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Friday, September 23, 2011

Taiwan Joins World Car-Free Day Celebrations

Over the past week Taiwan's major cities (except Taichung) participated in events leading up to World Car-free Day, which is held on September 22nd.

CNA reports on Taiwan Focus:

Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Wei-jen said at an unplugged concert at Daan Forest Park that emissions from motorcycles and automobiles are the largest source of air pollution in the city since it no longer host factories.

"We hope our citizens will support the carfree campaign to reduce carbon emissions," Chen said, adding that Taipei boasts a convenient public transport system which comprises mass rapid transit and bus services.

In Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, Mayor Chen Chu kicked off a mass bicycle ride across major city streets by cycling fans to drum up support for the carfree campaign.

Chen said CNN has rated Kaohsiung as one of Asia's five most cycling-friendly cities. The city has 26 cycling paths totaling 500 kilometers in
length, she said, with plans to extend them to 1,000 km.

I hope some of you got out there to participate. Sadly, my city government is more concerned with the plight of large developers and their boozy entertainment empires to really give a rat's ass about World Car-free Day.


Chinese State Journalism Takes a Stake in Taiwanese Cycling:

Check out this piece from Xinhua. It starts out as a typical human interest piece about Taiwanese cycling tourism, but two things rub me a little raw. The first is that, since this is the Chinese state media, it must have an angle. That angle appears to be to promote increasing Taiwanese reliance on Chinese tourism. The second is that Taiwanese cultural tourism is being "localized" by Chinese state media and some "Pan-Blue" stations in an obvious effort to have Chinese and Taiwanese citizens imagine each other as part of the same national community; a phenomenon which is simple fantasy. Of course, the other side of the coin is the risk of exposing years of propaganda for what it is...


The China Post reports that Taiwan's Action Blue Cycling Team will be helping the Clinton Global Initiative in raising funds to combat blindness in Africa. It is always nice to see Taiwanese people assert themselves on the word stage through this type of activity.