1. Construction for the Southern Branch of the National Central Library has been officially launched
(1) The construction and design contract for the Southern Branch of the National Central Library and National Repository Library located in Sinying District, a project that the Tainan City Government has been planning for an extended period, was officially signed last Friday. Construction work is scheduled to commence in October 2019, and the new library will be opened to the public in 2021. In the future, the Southern Branch of the National Central Library will be one of the largest super libraries in Taiwan, with a collection of 15 million books and Taiwan’s first transparent automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS).
(2) When Premier Lai was Mayor of Tainan, one of his policies was to promote Literary Tainan, a project that involved upgrading the quality of school libraries and improving libraries across the 22 districts. Since Tainan was upgraded as a special municipality, three new municipal library branches have been established, all fitted with the newest equipment and a large collection, attracting a greater number of young readers. Among the six special municipalities, Tainan is only second to Taipei City regarding the average number of books borrowed.
(3) To expand our services, the Tainan City Government is currently working on establishing a new headquarters for Tainan Public Library at the site of Yongkang Artillery School. The official launch of construction work for the Southern Branch of the National Central Library is the last part of the puzzle for Tainan’s library system. In the future, libraries of all levels in Tainan City will be connected with the Southern Branch of the National Central Library for conveying information, enhancing knowledge, and preserving civilization. The Southern Branch of the National Central Library will also become a new landmark for Sinying District and the area north of Zengwen River. The Southern Branch of the National Central Library will house a large collection of 15 million books, further elevating the reading environment north of Zengwen River, which is something for everyone to look forward to.
2. Tainan has been chosen as the site for the National Taiwan Science Education and Future Experience Center
(1) Other than successfully promoting the establishment of the Southern Branch of the National Central Library in Tainan, Premier Lai also shared some good news with everyone when he visited Tainan last Sunday. A new national-level science and education center will be established in the new city center in the East District: The National Taiwan Science Education and Future Experience Center.
(2) The establishment of the new center is meaningful in three aspects. First, it compensates for the insufficiencies of existing national science venues and education related to emerging technology. Second, it combines the strengths and foundations of academia and industry clusters in Southern Taiwan. Third, by further enhancing transportation, land utilization, and the surrounding environment, the new center serves as a new highlight among technology experience centers nation-wide.
(3) The infrastructure projects needed for Tainan’s future development have been gradually completed with the lead of Premier Lai’s team from the Central Government, various industries, and academia. These projects include Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City, Academia Sinica Southern Branch, Tainan Convention and Exhibition Center, the three MRT lines, Anping Harbor Bridge, Tainan Metropolitan Expressway, four major underground and aboveground parking lots, and Annei Sugar Factory, the last of which is to become an international-scale filming site, according to Minister Cheng of the Ministry of Culture. Aside from thanking the Central Government for its support, I would also like to encourage the staff members of the Tainan City Government to keep up the good work. Interdepartmental collaborations are required for these projects to materialize, thereby creating a solid foundation for Tainan’s long-term development.
1. The Cultural Affairs Bureau’s report on the 2018 Nanying International Folklore Festival (refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) The Nanying International Folklore Festival has been held 11 times since 1996. Over the past 22 years, 144 teams from 46 countries have participated in the Nanying International Folklore Festival, making it one of the oldest international art festivals in Taiwan. This year’s events are held in 21 districts, where international teams will put on traditional performances for Tainan’s citizenry. The staff members of the Cultural Affairs Bureau are responsible for coordinating visits by the international teams, demonstrating their competency in cross-cultural communication and their executive skills. I would like to thank Director-General Yeh for leading the Cultural Affairs Bureau in organizing and planning this major event.
(2) The year’s festival is marked by three major features. First of all, “tshut-tīn, kau-puê, pâi-tīn-sè (i.e., joining the temple parade, interacting, and choreographing the procession)" was used as the theme of the parade. A contemporary artist was employed to reference Tainan’s artistic temple parade culture and create a contemporary centipede procession that also includes cosplay culture, creating a highlight for this year’s event. Secondly, performance groups from Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Haiti, will be participating in the event for the first time. Other than putting on traditional performances, the teams from the two nations will also put on exciting performances at the flag-raising ceremony on Double Ten Day. Third, teams from Japan and Vietnam that specialize in intangible cultural heritages have been invited for the first time, which further enhances the depth, breadth, and quality of the festival. With the objective of engaging in in-depth cultural exchanges, a Japanese folk art group is scheduled to visit temples, communities, and schools to host Kau-puê Workshops.
(3) Tainan was the first city to be established in Taiwan. It has a long history and many heritages. Even more abundant are its intangible assets, such as folk arts. All homestays, communities, schools, and businesses are mobilized during the Nanying International Folklore Festival, which is held once every two years. From its opening parade to district performances, this international folklore festival is free-of-charge. I would like to ask the Cultural Affairs Bureau to enhance its marketing measures and contingency plans. In addition, I ask concerned departments to provide assistance and utilize this opportunity to promote and optimize relevant international services. Together, let us maximize the scale and brilliance of this event and make it the pride of Tainan.
2. The Department of Information and International Relations’ report on its administrative achievements over the past eight years (refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) Since Tainan was upgraded as a special municipality, the Department of Information and International Relations has utilized various strategies to ensure the most cost-effective promotional measures. In 2012, the Department of Information and International Relations became the first department in the public sector in Taiwan to establish an official LINE account and share real-time information with the public. Furthermore, the Department of Information and International Relations has also utilized social media platforms, such as the Facebook page “Tainan Today” and two of Tainan’s major YouTube channels, to transmit abundant, real-time audiovisual information.
(2) Over the past seven years, Tainan has signed sister or friendship city agreements with 11 cities in four different countries, demonstrating Tainan’s soft power in diplomacy. In addition, the Tainan City Government has proactively expanded material exchanges with cities around the world. For example, Tainan raised donations for Japan during the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. Baseball has also been a medium for urban diplomacy between Tainan and other cities, and the Tainan City Government has shared its experience in urban governance with cities in the United States, Japan, and Israel. In recent years, the Department of Information and International Relations has hosted over 1,000 international guests every year. These ambassadors, representatives, and guests are routinely invited to major events in Tainan City, such as beehive rocket festivals, orchid festivals, dragon boat races, and mango festivals. In short, Tainan’s competency in international exchanges is unmistakable.
(3) Tainan is rich in culture and history. To let citizens and visitors alike gain a better understanding of the minute changes in Tainan’s urban development, the Department of Information and International Relations has hosted video recruitment events, talent training sessions, and animation film festivals over the years, thereby encouraging citizens to capture the beauty of Tainan with their lenses and market Tainan with diverse approaches. To promote English as a second language, the Tainan City Government has produced HOT Tainan, an English show that introduces Tainan, in collaboration with the AIT Kaohsiung Office. In addition, the Tainan City Government has also collaborated with Japanese illustrators Yamasaki Tatsuya Illustration, famous author Tae Hitoto, and Tainan’s tourism consultant Ms. Miyama Junsei Fukayama Junyu to market Tainan through illustrations and writing and to show Tainan’s hospitality and warmth to a greater number of people in Japan.
(4) Policy conveyance, international promotions, and urban marketing are all challenging tasks. I would like to thank Director Hsu for her leadership over the years, and I encourage the Department of Information and International Relations to continue to market Tainan through diverse promotional approaches, employ urban diplomacy, and increase Tainan’s international presence as the cultural capital of Taiwan.
(5) Instant news is now the trend; therefore, I would like to ask all departments to respond to the Department of Information and International Relations promptly with information when requested. Other than managing their areas of specialty, all departments must consider how to grow these specialties. For instance, the Department of Information and International Relations recently employed influencer Yuyu Lin to market Tainan’s urban infrastructure, which yielded excellent results. I encourage all departments to keep this example in mind.