By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — The upcoming cross-strait service trade pact debate between President Ma Ying-jeou and Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) is not a competition but rather a platform for idea sharing, Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said yesterday. The president hopes to engage in an open and sincere dialogue with Su, in order to shed light on the course that Taiwan must take in order to become more competitive, Lo said. The Ma-Su debate is slated to take place on Sept. 15. Preparations are geared toward unveiling the truth through expert opinion and factual evidence, so that the public can learn more about the strategic importance of the pact, Lo said.
Presidential Office staffers said that although preparations for the debate are under way, there are substantial time constraints because of Ma’s busy schedule. According to local reports, staff members of the Presidential Office had scheduled Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 for the president to prepare for the debate, but because of the extensive floods across the island, Ma’s schedule was changed, so that he could monitor the latest developments and travel down south to inspect relief operations.