Tsai refuses to issue comment on controversy over Ma-Su debate
By Katherine Wei, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) former Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday declined to comment on local media outlet interpretations of intraparty rifts regarding the upcoming debate between President Ma Ying-jeou and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) head Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).
August 30, 2013, 11:12 am TWN
Amid the whispers and discussions that emerged after both Ma and Su consented to debate on the cross-strait service trade pact on TV, the fact that Ma seemingly chose Su over Tsai for holding cross-party talks has been worn to tatters by several local media outlets.
“I am not a political analyst, do not ask me this,” Tsai said tersely in an interview, after she had finished hosting the DPP's fourth Huashan Conference (華山會議) on cross-strait relations. Tsai had asked to hold a national affairs conference with Ma earlier in the month, a suggestion that Ma rejected flat out.
Tsai's debate with Ma three years ago, when both were running for president, has also been compared by media. When asked what advice she would give Su given her past debating experience, Tsai answered that the team behind her then was the same one that is currently supporting Su. The team will know what to do, she said.
“Public surveys have reflected the people's opinions on the cross-strait pact; I believe that Chairman Su has prepared well (for the debate),” Tsai said.
“The agreement is a test of the Taiwanese people, including how citizen groups, the government and political parties will react to it and what sort of attitude people should have,” noted Tsai.
The Huashan Conference held yesterday was titled “How Citizens from Both Sides of the Strait Interact”— a topic that Tsai said was brought up at the right time as many civil movements have been active in Taiwan, and further discussions on the interaction will have a profound impact on Taiwan's political system and democratic development.