Mayors of Four Cities in Northern Taiwan Converge on New Taipei Sky Lantern Festival "Friendly Links, Together for the Better" - Platform for Collaboration and Exchange between Four Northern Cities Launched
Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government
February 11, 2023
[New Taipei City] Mayor Hou Yu-Ih of New Taipei City, Mayor Chiang Wan-an of Taipei City, Mayor Hsieh Kuo-liang of Keelung City and Mayor Chang San-cheng of Taoyuan City attended the "Keelung-Taipei-New Taipei - Taoyuan Cooperation and Exchange Platform" meeting today (February 11), where the four cities discussed social, transportation and cultural issues. After the meeting, New Taipei mayor Hou Yu-Ih, together with the three participating mayors, announced the launch of the four cities' exchange platform. This year, a consensus was reached to launch three major platform collaboration programs, including "Excellent Social Welfare", "Good Transportation" and "Promotion of Arts and Culture".
New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-Ih pointed out that New Taipei City, Taipei City, Taoyuan City and Keelung City have reached a consensus on cooperation in urban governance and regional cooperation in transportation, culture and social welfare, and proposed three major proposals. These include "Excellent Social Welfare", which will establish a sharing mechanism for public daycare in the four cities; "Good Transportation", which hopes to integrate the capacity of public transportation between urban areas and become the strongest backing for citizens' peace of mind in daily life; and "Promotion of Arts and Culture", which will connect the museums in the four cities to bring more profound art and cultural activities to citizens and promote the exchange and development of art and cultural industries in northern Taiwan.
Mayor Hou emphasized that after the establishment of the "Keelung-Taipei-New Taipei - Taoyuan Cooperation and Exchange Platform", the city administration team will continue to strive towards the goal of enabling citizens to live and work with peace of mind. The collaboration mechanism of the platform will be led by the heads of bureaus, agencies, and departments of the four cities to set up an immediate and rapid communication channel, with quarterly exchanges and sharing on different municipal issues, as well as semi-annual meetings at the deputy mayor level and annual meetings at the mayor level. Under the collaboration platform mechanism of experience sharing, resource sharing, and mutual benefit, the partner cities can be governed more effectively and can face and solve the needs and problems of citizens more quickly.
After the platform-launching ceremony, the four mayors, together with the ambassadors of Belize, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Paraguay, St. Lucia, and Guatemala, proceeded to the sky lantern venue to jointly release the 20-foot heart-shaped double main sky lantern.
The design of the main lantern features "love quotes" from various countries and the "most popular dating spots in four cities in Northern Taiwan", including the Bali Wedding Plaza in New Taipei City, Dadaocheng in Taipei City, Daxi Lovers Bridge in Taoyuan City, and Zhengbin Fishing Harbor in Keelung City, accompanied by hundreds of heart-shaped sky lanterns dotting the night sky, wishing members of the public and international travelers from all over the world happy festivities and long-lasting love. The main lantern was lit up in the night sky, and the 20-foot main sky lantern and a hundred 4-foot sky lanterns were released together at the same time, with event-goers gasping in awe at the stunning sight.
According to the New Taipei City Government, the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival was once rated as a "must-visit festival of a lifetime," and with the opening of the country's borders after the lifting of epidemic prevention restrictions, the event has attracted many more international tourists. A total of 263 VIPs, including diplomats from 31 countries across 6 continents and representatives from 3 chambers of commerce, visited the old streets of Pingxi and released the sky lanterns adorned with messages and blessings, jointly witnessing the beauty of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in New Taipei.