KMT blasts opposition over 'about-face' on trade debate
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Kuomintang (KMT) said yesterday that President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as the party's chairman, is more than willing to debate with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on the matter of the cross-strait services trade pact.
August 24, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Media polls conducted recently show that over 60 percent of the public wishes to see such a debate take place.
On Thursday, the DPP said that such a debate would be unnecessary and that its chairman will not take part in such an event, said KMT Cultural and Communications chief Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑), adding, however, that Su seemed to have changed his mind the following day.
“Debates are good. (My) only concern is that Ma is afraid,” Su said.
Hsiao criticized the DPP for its apparent flip-flop.
The DPP made an about-face because the media had accused it of being “scared” of engaging in “battle,” Hsiao said, questioning the opposition party over its actual stance on the pact.
Why was the DPP apprehensive about a debate in the first place, Hsiao asked.
The fact that the party changed its mind within 24 hours shows that it doesn't have a core position on the issue, Hsiao said, adding that the DPP has constantly tried to instill doubt over the pact by spreading disinformation.
The DPP has been objecting to the pact for the sake of objection, Hsiao said, claiming that the party is not actually concerned about Taiwan's development.
The DPP has reportedly taken a “conservative” attitude toward the pact, saying that the matter should be examined by the Legislature, Hsiao said.
Apart from seizing the rostrum and instigating altercations, the DPP's legislative caucus doesn't seem to have done anything constructive, Hsiao said.
The DPP claims that it wants to have legislators examine the pact, but it has apparently done everything it can to prevent that from actually happening, Hsiao said.
The government's executive branches have consistently tried to let the public learn more about the pact, and given that there are still doubts over the issue, Ma is willing to take part in a debate hosted by the media, so that the finer points of the pact can be made clearer to the public, Hsiao said.
Hsiao added that the pact will create new opportunities for Taiwan, and is the right direction for the nation to be taking.