Media Abuzz about possible Arnold Schwarzenegger visit to Kaohsiung City

Taiwan’s news media, abuzz with rumors about a famous Hollywood celebrity visit to Kaohsiung since comments made by the mayor-elect on December 18, is reporting that Arnold Schwarzenegger is slated to make a speech in the city in March 2019.

Last week, mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu ( 韓國瑜), sparked media interest when he told reporters that an internationally renowned person from Hollywood will speak in Kaohsiung in March.

Today, Pan Heng-Hsu (潘恆旭), the incoming Kaohsiung City Government Tourism Bureau director, who will take up the post when Han and his new cabinet take power on December 25, said that Schwarzenegger had been contacted and that he had agreed in principle to make a speech in Kaohsiung, but details are yet to be confirmed and must wait until the new team takes office.

Wang Qiang-chu (王淺秋) speaks to the media
Wang Qiang-chu (王淺秋) speaks to the media about the new Kaohsiung City’s administration plan to draw international celebrities to the city.

The incoming Kaohsiung City Information Bureau chief Wang Qiang-chu (王淺秋) told reporters today that the new cabinet will form a team called the “Star Celebrity Group” made up of members from the Tourism Bureau, Information Bureau, International Office, and other agencies, tasked with inviting personages from the entertainment and cultural fields from the USA, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Korea, India, and other countries to visit Kaohsiung City.

The strategy is to not only promote Kaohsiung as a tourism destination, but to attract film and television companies from other countries to use Kaohsiung as a filming location, so that domestic players can have the opportunity to work with international players in order to cultivate the film and culture industries of the city.

Arnold Schwarzenegger terminate hate t-shirt
Kaohsiung City hopes to attract international celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Asked about the speculation that Arnold Schwarzenegger will visit Kaohsiung in March to make a speech, Wang said that an invitation had been sent, and that a positive reply has been received, but negotiations are ongoing and the deal is not finalized.

According to Mirror Media, Schwarzenegger, who served as Governor of California from 2003 to 2011 charges around US$1,600 (NT$48,000) per minute for speeches, and if the star of the Terminator series of films makes a 25 minute speech, it will cost the city around NT$1.2 million in addition to transportation, accommodation, and other costs.

As for mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu, when asked by reporters at an event at the bilingual Victoria Academy in Douliou, Yunlin County, Han refused to confirm or deny Schwarzenegger’s visit, saying that liaison work is very hard, premature exposure is not a good thing, and that in respect of the hard work of intermediaries, he would not confirm the visit.

Han Kuo-yu and wife Li Jia-fen at an event at Victoria Academy
Han Kuo-yu and wife Li Jia-fen at an event at Victoria Academy today. Picture: United Daily News.
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