Struggling to win support from fellow Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members for the continued construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, Premier Jiang Yi-huan (江宜樺) last night invited mayors of cities in the “evacuation zone” around the facility to dinner.
Jiang was trying to foster unity among influential party members to defend the construction of the plant, which has met with strong opposition from the public.
The meeting began at 7pm and had not finished by 9:50pm.
A number of polls have shown that more than 70 percent of the public want the plant to be scrapped, fueling calls for the government to order an immediate halt to construction.
Concerned over the safety of the plant, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) had said that he would vote to suspend construction if a referendum were held now, becoming the first KMT local government head to declare his stance on the issue.
Earlier yesterday, Hau said he would not change his position.
New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) declined to reveal his voting intention, but has expressed strong concerns over safety and worries about nuclear waste disposal.
“If Taiwan cannot deal with the problem of disposal of nuclear waste, how can the country be in a position to use nuclear energy?” Chu said.
Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮) said that the three cities have to be on the same page on the issue.
Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), Deputy Taipei Mayor Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) and Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) also attended the meeting.