President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will give a public address on Tuesday, seeking to explain the importance of signing an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China.
Ma will hold a press conference on Tuesday to promote the signing of an ECFA and explain the government’s negotiation process with China. ECFA-related events will be held regularly to deepen public understanding of the proposed agreement, the Presidential Office said yesterday.
Ma also instructed government agencies to give regular reports to the legislature on the ECFA’s negotiation process, and to enhance ECFA-related communication with middle and low-income earners and owners of small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Presidential Office said Ma would explain the ECFA and take questions from reporters during Tuesday’s press conference. The Presidential Office will videotape the press conference and broadcast an edited version on television to promote the economic pact.
Taiwan and China began their first round of talks on the proposed agreement late last month. Negotiation on an ECFA will be top priority in the next round of cross-strait talks scheduled to take place sometime in the first half of this year.
Ma said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government would adopt a more careful, transparent and aggressive approach to gaining support for the planned pact. He said the way the government has operated over the past 20 months proves that officials are taking public opinion seriously.
Under the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), all cross-strait agreements become effective 30 days after they are signed, whether lawmakers approve them or not.
Moreover, the legislature has no power to nullify agreements. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) proposed “institutionalizing” the legislature’s monitoring of cross-strait issues by setting up a task force for monitoring cross-strait affairs.
Meanwhile, a KMT-affiliated think tank on Thursday denied it had proposed that an ECFA include imports of Chinese agricultural products into Taiwan.
Local media reported that the KMT’s National Policy Foundation (NPF) recently published a research paper on the feasibility of expanding imports of Chinese farm produce, although the Ma administration has repeatedly said it would not open Taiwan to Chinese agricultural products.
In response, NPF president Tsai Cheng-wen (蔡政文) said the paper reflected the personal opinions of the researcher who wrote it.
“It was a small article posted on NPF’s Web site and [it] reflects her personal opinion,” Tsai said.
The Web site carries many articles posted by assistant researchers and consultants, all of which reflect their personal views and are by no means proposals by the NPF, Tsai said.
If the think tank wants to express its opinion, it will make its articles public rather than posting them on the Web site, Tsai said.
Wu Hui-ping (吳惠萍), author of the paper, on Thursday issued a statement saying the article was her personal work.
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