Wed, Dec 16, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Premier Wu rejects invitation to debate ECFA at NTU forum

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday rejected an invitation from students to hold a debate on the government’s plan to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China, saying he was busy and “does not understand the details as well as” the economics minister.

A group of students from National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Normal University and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology called a press conference on Monday asking Wu to explain the content of the ECFA and its impact on students at an NTU forum on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27.

Approached by reporters, Wu said that Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) would deliver a speech at the forum and discuss the issue with students.

“There are two reasons [why I turned down the invitation]: I am scheduled to attend a ground-breaking ceremony for the fourth-stage expansion of the Central Taiwan Science Park on Dec. 26 in Erlin Township [二林], Changhua County and to go south on Dec. 27,” Wu said.

Wu also said he knew less about the details of the ECFA than Shih does.

“[Shih] is the most suitable person. The MOEA is in charge of the matter and he is familiar with the whole subject. If students have any questions, he has the professional knowledge to answer them,” Wu said.

He also said officials with the MOEA, the Council of Labor Affairs and the Council for Economic Planning and Development briefed him yesterday during lunch on supplementary measures that must be adopted if Taiwan signs free trade agreements with more countries following an ECFA.

Wu said he would answer questions from lawmakers if the legislature held any sessions on the issue as the premier is responsible to the legislature.

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