In an e-mail to the Taipei Times, Taiwan Foreign Correspondents’ Club (TFCC) president Robin Kwong (鄺彥暉) said that after receiving a complaint letter from the TFCC, the Presidential Office told him that the meeting was intended as a “gathering between the president and the local journalists’ association” and was not a press event.
“It was therefore not open to not just foreign media, but also local media who were not members of the journalists’ association [btb Association of Taiwan Journalists],” Kwong said.
As a last-minute solution, foreign media were allowed to watch the event on a video link at the Presidential Office press room.
Kwong said the Presidential Office was focusing on improving its communication on ECFA-related matters with the domestic audience after being criticized for its handling of the US beef issue in recent months.
“If the president [is] going to talk about an issue as important as [an] ECFA, then it is no longer just a social gathering,” Kwong told the Presidential Office, adding that the TFCC was “especially concerned” because Tuesday’s briefing was not just a one-off event, but a regular monthly briefing.
“The Presidential Office’s response was that they would not change the arrangements for yesterday [Tuesday], but that President Ma would hold a similar briefing with the TFCC in early April,” Kwong said.
This section of a longer article on ECFA appeared today in the Taipei Times.