At the Cabinet's weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Su Tseng-chang said the government will endeavor to make Taiwan the most beautiful bicycle touring country in the world, where domestic tourists as well as post-pandemic international travelers can see and experience the beauty of the island for themselves on two wheels.
The premier made the remarks following a Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) briefing on the nationwide cycling path network construction project. As 2021 has been designated the year of bicycle touring in Taiwan, the MOTC should pull together government resources to continue connecting bike path networks around the country while upgrading pathways and other associated soft and hard infrastructure, he said.
Bicycles are an inseparable part of Taiwan's economic history, the premier said, adding that he grew up witnessing and watching the evolution of Taiwan's bike technology and the boom of the industry. During his first time heading the Executive Yuan he launched May 5 as "Bicycle Day" in Taiwan, over a decade ahead of the U.N.'s 2018 declaration of June 3 as World Bicycle Day. In September 2019 Premier Su took a step further with the approval of a NT$1.6 billion (US$54.2 million) plan spanning 2020 to 2023, aimed at upgrading the round-island cycling network, integrating a wide range of pathways, and developing world-class cycling routes. The premier emphasized forthright action in support of bike path construction as a means to promote cycling as a particularly well suited recreational activity for the people of Taiwan.
Today Taiwan's bicycle manufacturers stand as market leaders with global brand recognition. Premier Su said that as lifestyles in Taiwan have changed with the passage of time, people have come more and more to value good health and exercise. He also said that in light of the coronavirus threat, advancing cycling and related activities is a great idea. The premier directed responsible ministries and agencies to assist local authorities with necessary construction in order to boost the popularity of recreational bicycling domestically and successfully attract international cycling enthusiasts to visit Taiwan for tourism and competition. More than simply a tool for local commuters or a means of recreation and exercise, cycling can help market Taiwan's many unique attractions, energize tourism and travel, spur development of industry and bring local prosperity.