Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is scheduled to attend a forum tomorrow hosted by the National Policy Foundation, a think tank affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
The event, which is to begin at 10am in Taipei, is part of a series of forums organized by the foundation called “Vision of Taiwan in 2030.”
Tomorrow’s discussion, titled “A Future That Cannot Be Afforded,” is to focus on topics including low pay, intergenerational justice and housing justice, the foundation said, adding that it would release the results of a related poll at the event.
Other people scheduled to attend include KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣); Wang Shu-mei (王淑美), a professor in National Taiwan University’s Department of Bio-Industry Communication and Development; and Hsin Ping-lung (辛炳隆), a professor in Chinese Culture University’s Department of Labor and Human Resources, it said.
KMT Deputy Secretary-General Ko Chih-en (柯志恩), a professor in Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of Educational Psychology and Counseling, is the moderator, the foundation said, adding that seven youth representatives would participate in the discussion.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) said that New Power Party (NPP) Chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) and NPP Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) were also invited, but declined to attend due to scheduling conflicts.
Taipei City Government spokeswoman Chen Chih-han (陳智菡) yesterday said that the KMT had invited Ko, who is also the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman, to discuss topics including low salaries and high housing prices, which are public issues.
Due to speculation that Ko’s attendance could imply future cooperation between the KMT and TPP, Chen said that public issues should be discussed with everyone in Taiwan, not only between the opposition parties, but also with the ruling party.
Ko and other political parties, including the New Power Party, received the KMT’s invitation before the Lunar New Year holiday, and the mayor believes that if discussing issues can benefit Taiwan, he is not opposed to cooperating with anyone, she said.
TPP spokesman Tsai Chun-wei (蔡峻維) said the TPP is a new political party that does not have any presumptions and has not stopped cooperating or communicating with other political parties, so Ko’s decision to attend the forum does not need to be attached to ideological labels.
The forum is being held to facilitate cross-party discussions on national governance and other public issues, so it should not be interpreted as cooperation between the two parties, he added.
The TPP’s Institute of National Governance had also invited Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), of the pan-green camp, to be speakers, which at the time was seen as offering an olive branch to the Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai said, adding that the TPP would not be restricted by biased interpretations.
Additional reporting by Lee I-chia and CNA
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