Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) is still hoping for a change of heart from opposition leaders on the upcoming national affairs conference on economics and trade, Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said yesterday.
The Executive Yuan has tried to contact the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) over possible meetings between Jiang and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝), to persuade them to attend the conference.
“We have the greatest sincerity in wanting to have DPP and TSU members present because the issues up for discussion at the conference are of concern to the future of Taiwan’s economic development,” Sun said.
The DPP and the TSU have already turned down invitations to participate in the conference scheduled to take place in Taipei from July 26 to July 28.
DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday said in Greater Taichung that Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) relayed the premier’s invitation in a telephone call, before indirectly reaffirming the party’s boycott of the conference.
“The DPP Central Standing Committee’s resolution to not attend the conference remains unchanged,” Wu said on the sidelines of a DPP’s policy meeting.
Adding that the conference would take place after the extra legislative session, which begins on Friday, Wu said major issues such as the cross-strait service trade agreement and the free economic pilot zones (FEPZ) might already be settled in the legislature by the time the meeting begins, making the conference meaningless.
Wu said President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration is “making every opportunity of meeting with the DPP a publicity stunt” by leaking the information to the media before initiating contact.
“This time was no different. That was why we think it was not a sincere invitation,” Wu said.
The TSU said that it had declined an invitation from the Executive Yuan and would not send delegates to the conference.
The Ma administration should have suspended the FEPZ project and legislative screening of the service trade pact until a consensus is reached in the national affairs conference for economics and trade, TSU Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) said.
Ma is playing a two-handed strategy by organizing the conference to listen to public opinions, while ordering the KMT caucus to push through his agenda at all costs, Lin added.
Meanwhile, the People First Party issued a statement reiterating its position that it would not send anyone to the conference because it did not expect that the main issues confronting Taiwan could be resolved there.
The issues are conflicts between political parties and generations, of ethics, the rich and the poor, the north and the south, and management and employees, “all of political nature,” FPF spokesperson Wu Koon-yu (吳昆玉) said.
Wu Koon-yu said that the government would not be able to rebuild public confidence in its capability to address all the issues by holding the conference.
According to the Executive Yuan, the purpose of the conference is to discuss strategies to upgrade industrial development, assist young people to grasp opportunities of globalization, buffer negative effects of globalization on inequalities, boost the development of local industries and social enterprises, develop cross-strait relations, and take part in international economic integration.