The Presidential Office yesterday criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for creating obstacles to the proposed debate between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on the cross-strait service trade agreement, while reiterating its support for the debate.
The event was to be co-hosted by the Public Television Service Foundation, four major Chinese-language newspapers and the Central News Agency. However, the DPP insisted that the foundation should be the sole administrator and that media outlets should not be permitted to pose questions during the debate.
Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) yesterday said that Ma has expressed his willingness to participate, adding that the DPP should be more cooperative regarding the arrangements of the debate.
“DPP Chairman Su should stop creating thresholds and obstacles to the debate. We need to meet the public’s expectation that the event take place as planned,” Lo said.
Talk of holding a debate on the agreement resurfaced after a survey released by the Chinese-language China Times last week showed that 63 percent of respondents supported the proposal to have Su and Ma discuss the pact.
The Presidential Office and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which has been desperate to raise support for the trade deal, immediately responded positively to the proposal, saying that Ma was willing to accept an invitation to attend the debate and elaborate on the details of the pact to address the public’s concerns.