Plans by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to hold a series of nationwide forums on government policies was “internal propaganda” to rally DPP supporters against a referendum on the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off Taoyuan, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
The DPP Central Standing Committee on Wednesday approved plans to hold 305 public briefings from May through July on the government’s policy progress and to clarify misunderstandings due to false information on its policies circulating on the Internet, DPP spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) said.
In response to the announcement, Wang said that the goal of the fora was to spread “propaganda” and to rally support against a referendum proposal by Rescue Datan’s Algal Reefs Alliance convener Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政).
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The proposed referendum, to be held in August, would ask the public whether a third LNG terminal by state-run CPC Corp, Taiwan should be moved away from the proximity of an algal reef ecosystem near Taoyuan’s Datan Borough (大潭).
Pan and his alliance yesterday delivered more than 700,000 signatures supporting the referendum proposal to the Central Election Commission.
Wang said that the DPP should respect public opinion instead of launching a smear campaign against Pan and environmental groups that criticize the potential environmental impact of the terminal.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should not distract from Pan’s and others' proposals, and stop smearing the KMT by saying that it is friendly toward the Chinese government, the KMT said.
The KMT made the remark in response to a statement by Tsai at a DPP meeting on local politics in Taipei.
Tsai, who is DPP chairperson, had said that the nation faces significant external pressure, and that it might become “a second Hong Kong” if it caters to the interest of Beijing the way the KMT intends to do.
In a statement responding to the comment, the KMT yesterday said that Tsai’s argument was “self-contradictory.”
On the one hand, Tsai says that opposition to Beijing’s ‘one country, two systems’ formula is a consensus among the ruling and opposition parties, but on the other, Tsai says that following the KMT’s path would lead to the nation becoming akin to the Chinese territory, the KMT said.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) has previously expressed regret over Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong, the KMT said.
“If President Tsai does not want to unite Taiwan, she should not tear Taiwan apart,” the KMT said.
Tsai was only catering to the DPP’s interests, the KMT said, adding that she should stop accusing it of being a “red" party to distract from her policy being challenged in several referendums.
Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui and CNA
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