Ma-Su trade pact debate set for September 15
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Negotiators yesterday agreed to set the upcoming cross-strait trade pact debate between President Ma Ying-jeou and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) for Sept. 15.
August 29, 2013, 12:22 am TWN
Representatives from both camps met yesterday and were reportedly able to reach a conclusion in less than an hour.
The event will start at 2 p.m. on Sept. 15 and last for two hours. According to local reports, the format of the event will adhere to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) debate between Ma and then DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen in 2010. There will, however, be significant differences. Members of the media will not be allowed to ask questions during the event.
Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), a representative of the Ma camp, said that the meeting went smoothly, adding that both parties expressed a willingness to accommodate the host the event, the Public Television Service (PTS).
Lo said that little was changed from the PTS' original proposal, and that the two parties had settled on Sept. 15 from a list of four dates proposed by the PTS.
Lo said that the upcoming event will largely follow the format of the ECFA debate, adding that cross-examinations, however, will be limited to four rounds, as opposed to the five in the Ma-Tsai event.
As to other details, Lo said that the PTS will make a public announcement.
The key to winning the debate is to return to the question of the trade pact's actual advantages and disadvantages, as well as the effects that the agreement will have on Taiwan, Lo said.
The event will allow viewers to better understand the pact, whereas the people should make their final judgment, Lo added.
Su Camp Expresses Confidence
DPP lawmaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), a representative of the Su camp, echoed Lo's statement in saying that the meeting went smoothly, and that apart from slight differences, the format will be the same as the 2010 debate.
The changes were made with an aim to keep a tighter focus on the issue at hand; therefore, the 2.5-hour duration was lessened to 2 hours instead, Tsai said.
When asked if Su feels confident, Tsai said that Su has consistently expressed confidence and that the chairman stands with the people.
“I believe we are very confident,” Tsai said, adding that the DPP will fulfill its duties as an opposition party.