Cabinet Spokesman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) yesterday called opposition lawmakers' demand that Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) apologize for problems with the Kaohsiung MRT project before they would allow him to present his briefing to the legislature "a meaningless gesture."
"If lawmakers want to question the premier over any issues, they will be more than welcome to question him at any time during the official legislative meetings. Their request for an apology does not really mean anything," Cho said.
Pan-blue lawmakers have accused Hsieh of making wrong decisions about Kaohsiung's MRT system when he was the city's mayor.
Hsieh's predecessor in that post, Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), now a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker, presented documents at a KMT meeting on Wednesday to bolster his claim that it was Hsieh who had decided to use the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model to construct the MRT system, not himself.
The BOT model has come under fire after Thai laborers working for the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp rioted over poor working and living conditions.
"Even if the premier does apologize, the apology will be the result of pressure from the [legislative] majority and would not really help clarify responsibilities," Cho said.
He urged lawmakers to pursue their complaints through official channels, such as questioning Hsieh during meetings or debates, instead of boycotting the premier's briefing and wasting everybody's time and money.
"The premier said he finished half a book while he was waiting [to give his briefing] on Tuesday. If opposition lawmakers want another repeat, he will continue to use his time well and serve the people by reviewing more official documents," Cho said.
"He may have a chance to finish the rest of that book, too," Cho said.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
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