Mayor trots out horse race dream for Kaohsiung

Top News | Phoenix Un 25 Mar 2019

Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu visited the Macau Jockey Club yesterday and expressed his wish to introduce horse racing to the Taiwanese city.

Han and the rest of the Kaohsiung delegation, on their second day in Macau, was welcomed by Angela Leong On-kei, vice chairman of the jockey club.

He said he wanted to take reference from cities with racecourses in order to introduce horse racing to Kaohsiung.

"We really want to introduce it, but it involves legal problems and whether my fellow citizens can accept it and the stance of the city council," Han said.

"We need to assess whether Kaohsiung people can accept horse racing as a sport and even its gaming element."

Leong said she discussed the relationship of Macau and Kaohsiung with Han, especially regarding the tourism industry.

"He believes horse racing, as a sport, can be a family activity and not necessarily about gambling," she said.

Han has said the Hong Kong Jockey Club was sending a delegation to meet with him in Kaohsiung in January, but the HKJC clarified that it has not sent anybody to Taiwan.

Han had wanted to visit racing facilities in Hong Kong on Friday. But this wish was not granted as all HKJC executives headed to Conghua, Guangdong, for a race meeting.

Han also visited some casinos as well as the University of Macau, and the State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicines before departing for Shenzhen.

Han started his seven-day trip on Friday in Hong Kong, where he visited the Liaison Office and met director Wang Zhimin.

Three pan-democrat legislators - Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Au Nok-hin and Leung Yiu-chung - signed a joint petition criticizing Han for "endorsing a twisted one country, two systems" principle.

The next day, during a meeting with Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on, Han said criticisms of his visit to the Liaison Office were "meaningless nonsense" and denied any 'betrayal" of Taiwan.

He then visited the Macau Liaison Office and met director Fu Ziying.

Asked whether he would meet any officials from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, Han said it would be impolite to reveal the answer. "It would be impolite if we expected to meet anybody but [a meeting was] canceled," Han said.

He said the delegation will not hide whoever it meets.

"We are criticized everyday, even though they're just smearing and twisting the facts," Han said. "But we won't stop our [work if we receive] praises or criticisms."

Han will visit Xiamen, Fujian, after Shenzhen and will return to Kaohsiung on Thursday.

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