Members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday delivered an invitation to the Presidential Office in Taipei on behalf of KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) asking President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to engage in a debate with him on the importation of US pork containing ractopamine residue.
The invitation was delivered by KMT deputy secretary-general Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀), KMT Institute of Revolutionary Practice director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏), and KMT legislators Chen I-hsin (陳以信) and Lee De-wei (李德維).
Since Tsai on Aug. 28 announced that Taiwan would allow imports of US pork containing the leanness-enhancing feed additive from Jan. 1, people have been deeply concerned, Wang said.
More than 50,000 people took to the streets of Taipei on Sunday to protest the policy, while a petition against pork containing ractopamine residue started by the Consumers’ Foundation had collected more than 150,000 signatures, she said.
She urged Tsai to accept Chiang’s invitation to join a televised debate on what she said was a major food safety issue.
Chiang while attending the annual “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) protest march on Sunday urged Tsai to agree to a televised debate.
As chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Tsai had asked then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to engage in a debate on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), Lee Yen-hsiu said, referring to a televised debate on April 25, 2010.
The ECFA debate was a model for democratic dialogue, she said.
The Tsai administration claims to be the “best at communicating” and “most humble,” she said, adding that Tsai should take part in the debate, communicate with the public and engage in dialogue with the chairman of the main opposition party.
Presidential Office Department of Public Affairs Director Kao Tsun (高遵) received the invitation from the KMT delegation.
Asked about the proposal, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that question-and-answer sessions at the Legislative Yuan are the “best debate.”
The KMT legislative caucus had previously invited Tsai to deliver a report on the policy to the Legislative Yuan, but the DPP legislative caucus rejected the request, Chiang said in response.
Additional reporting by Huang Hsin-po and CNA
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