President Tsai Ing-wen (???) said Sunday her administration will start next year to carry out one of her promises -- to launch a national project aimed at developing a north-south provincial highway into a "Hakka Romantic Avenue" to promote the culture of Taiwan's Hakka ethnic group.
Under the plan, measures will be taken to promote the industrial economy and improve the ecological and cultural landscapes of 16 Hakka towns in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and Taichung cities and counties along the 438.7 kilometer-long highway.
"The new government's building the national Hakka Romantic Avenue along the Provincial Highway 3 is a very important governing mission," said Tsai at the Hakka Yimin Festival in Taipei Sunday.
Work will begin next year to carry out the national project, Tsai said, noting that different ministries and government departments, as well as local governments, will be mobilized to help promote Hakka culture and local economic development along the provincial highway.
Tsai said the Romantic Provincial Highway 3 project is just a beginning. The next step is to further boost the revitalization of the Hakka culture in places besides the Liudui area in Pingtung County, but also in Hualien and Taitung counties in eastern Taiwan.
Liudui is a major cluster of Hakka villages that are located in Kaohsiung City and Pingtung County in southern Taiwan.
Provincial Highway 3, also known as Inner-Mountain Highway, runs from Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, in the north to Pingtung. The road runs through the mountain towns in western Taiwan.
Tsai's new government, inaugurated on May 20, put fourth in July the national project of developing the Provincial Highway 3 into a Hakka Romantic Avenue.
Premier Lin Chuan (??) has said he expects the highway will be like the "Romanische Strasse " in Germany or Japan's Narrpw Road to the Deep North, both which he said have been attracting tourists with the glamor of romanticism.
President Tsai is from a Hakka family, one of the major demographic groups in Taiwan. Revitalizing and passing on Hakka culture was one of her key platforms when she was running in the presidential election in January.
At Sunday's event, she reiterated her promise to promote the diversified development of Taiwanese cultures and enable Hakka culture to be passed on from one generation to another. "This is an very important task of me being the president and a Hakka person," Tsai said.
The three-day 2016 Hakka Yimin Festival was opened at the Taipei Hakka Cultural Park Saturday. It attracted Tsai, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (???) and Lee Yung-te (???), head of the Hakka Affairs Council, for the Sunday activity.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel