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.
Photo: Liao Yao-tung, Taipei Times
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.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a