Ma and administration mute in face of 3/30 protest action
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-30 03:47 PM
As students prepared to mass on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the President’s Office Sunday afternoon, President Ma Ying-jeou was nowhere to be seen. A Presidential Office spokesperson told reporters that Ma expects to maintain a low profile during the day, noting that he will be informed and up to date on developments but will not offer a public response unless conditions call for one.

Tensions rose slightly during the morning as crowds began to gather in the broad roadway. Police erected barricades and crowd control devices several days ago in front of the President’s Office and all traffic has been re-routed on Ketagalan as well as Zhongshan South Road up to Legislative Yuan, and law enforcement officials say they are ready for any situation that might arise in the area.

President Ma has not scheduled any travel or public appearances for the day, and key government and military officials all say that the President’s Office will stick to relevant standard operating procedures (SOP) for the day unless conditions demand otherwise. National security units will be at a high state of readiness and will report regularly on current conditions. Meanwhile President Ma will remain in Taipei in order to be fully aware of conditions and to communicate with Premier Jiang Yi-huah and other key figures on the current situation.

Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Li-chun said Premier Jiang also has no special plans for the day. He will stay close to information and communication channels in order to remain on top of the current situation and be quickly informed if there is any breaking news.

The Executive Yuan has set up an emergency response center to stand in readiness should any crisis arise during the afternoon’s activities. The center will be overseen by Executive Yuan Secretary-General Li Si-chuan and will report the latest news and events to Premier Jiang and key members of the Ma administration.

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