The 2007 World Best Cultural and Art City of the World Leadership Forum Awards were granted to Taichung City; Mayor Hu received the awards in person and hosted a press meeting on his first working day in the City Government. He stated that the award reflected the hard work of all city people, and Taichung City winning international recognition was the honor of the whole city. He was satisfied with the win but he foresees heavier responsibility in the future. He would like to set up cultural guidelines to process cultural construction and promotion of innovative industry, making Taichung City a bright light in global society.
In order to win the award, Mayor Hu led a city administrative team to present and answer questions in London, and won against Lima, Peru and the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA during the strict evaluation process, receiving the international recognition.
According to Mayor Hu, the World Leadership Forum is an association founded in Britain in 2005, which set its goal to select a city of distinguished performance and development; they further expect to set up a standard for learning and achievements for the co-development of all human beings through public evaluation of cities. Each year there are over 400 cities registered, no Taiwanese city has been selected in the past 3 years, therefore, it was a monumental task for Taichung City to be nominated and selected as the winner, giving Taichung a chance to be on the international stage.
Mayor Hu stated that Taichung had outstanding natural geographical characteristics and solid human and cultural basics, which helped Taichung City defeat the other competitors, as well as some efforts by Taichung City on cultural and art constructions, such as the attraction processes for the Guggenheim Museum, international competition for the metropolitan theater, dedication of continental baseball field, the Round Theater, the Shinning Cultural Season, some traditional cultural and multi-dimensional cultural events, and hosting famous performance groups including the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Carreras, Pavarotti, Yo-Yo Ma, and Cho-Liang Lin. The rate of resident participation in cultural and art events has been raised from 3.92 per year in 2001 to the current rate of 28.38 per year, which was emphasized by the evaluators. He said when Taichung was announced as the winner, the city received a round of applause, and that even the deputy director of the Taipei Economic Development Office in Britain came to deliver his congratulations and said that it was not easy for Taiwan to win such international acclaim.
He said satisfaction could only last for a while because we would have more responsibilities in the future. He received some inspirations from discussions with the representatives of other cities, and expected to setup cultural guidelines to lead the cultural industry development in order to have cultural reform and innovation promotions. After all, this was a competition for all cities in the world, therefore, Taichung City Government had to work harder to build the City to higher quality, in terms of cultural and art developments.