West Kowloon Cultural District

Taiwan culture chief calls for 'southern alliance'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 November, 2012, 4:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 November, 2012, 4:30pm

A strong cultural link between Taiwan and Pearl River Delta cities would bring strong advantages given the cultural advances in both regions, the island’s visiting culture minister said in Hong Kong on Thursday.

“What I’m raising is a possibility of having a ‘southern alliance’,” Lung Ying-tai said on the second day of her six-day visit.

“It’s not just between Taipei and Hong Kong, but also Macau and Guangzhou, especially after the opening of the high-speed rail link.”

The alliance could be extended to Shanghai, the cultural minister said.

Lung was speaking after visiting the West Kowloon Cultural District and meeting Michael Lynch, chief executive of the district’s authority.

Taipei and Kaohsiung were planning to open major new cultural establishments in 2015 and 2016, she said. Collaboration with Hong Kong’s emerging new cultural hub could include staff exchanges and programme sharing, among other levels of co-operation.

Lung lived in Hong Kong for several years as a scholar at the University of Hong Kong. She said it would be better for the Hong Kong government to have a centralised organisation overseeing culture.

A new cultural bureau was proposed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, as part of a planned cabinet reorganisation, but the scheme was blocked in the Legislative Council.

“If a cultural bureau can’t be set up, then a [body like a] development committee could be considered [as an alternative],” Lung said.

Briefly praising Hong Kong’s cultural advances, she said: “In the past 10 or 15 years, I’ve observed a very remarkable awakening to Hong Kong’s own past, especially cultural heritage … it is a healthy trend.”