The locations selected by the Mainland Affairs Council to host a series of town hall lectures focusing on the government’s cross-strait policies have raised eyebrows within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has questioned the council’s intent.
The events are mostly taking place in cities governed by the DPP.
The commencement of the council’s series of policy presentations last week saw talks held at the Kungfan Temple in Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township (麥寮), the Tsantien Temple in Yunlin County’s Sihhu Township (四湖) and the Chenghuang Temple in Chiayi City.
This week, presentations will be held at the Ku Zhu Temple in Chiayi County’s Shueishang Township (水上), the Zhenlan Temple in Greater Taichung’s Dajia District (大甲), the Sanfung Temple in Greater Kaohsiung’s Sanmin District (三民) and the Earth God Temple in Yilan County’s Lodung Township (羅東).
Council officials said the locations were picked because they would be able to draw large crowds, adding that in addition to explaining the basis of the government’s policies regarding China, the council is also seeking to exchange ideas with residents to receive feedback on policies from local representatives.
Departing from the customary practice of sending mid to low-level office staff to host the presentations, the council is sending its chairperson and three deputy chairpersons to hold discussions on a rotating basis to signal that it is placing significant emphasis on the discussions.
Despite questions from the DPP about the reasoning behind the locations they chose, council officials said the presentations have nothing to do with the presidential and legislative elections, scheduled to be held on Jan. 14 next year.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer