Civil group in Taiwan calls for debate on proposed CECA

More than 40 members of the Alliance of Referendum staged a demonstration in front of the Straits Exchange Foundation building in Taipei yesterday. Th

The Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan (ART) demanded yesterday that the chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chiang Pin-kung participate in a public debate on the government's plan to sign a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with China.
More than 40 members of the ART made the call during a demonstration staged in front of the SEF building in Taipei to protest against the CECA proposal and to urge the government to hold a referendum on the issue.
An ART representative Tsai Tin-kue said that if Taiwan signs a CECA under the one-China principle, the agreement will symbolize Taiwan's surrender to China.
"The signing of such an agreement will be an act of betrayal of the Taiwanese people," said Tsai, adding that the CECA will not only compromise Taiwan's sovereignty, but will also jeopardize its economic and political interests.
According to Tsai, the public should decide, by national referendum, whether or not Taiwan should sign a CECA with China.
"The SEF and other government agencies have no right to make that decision without public consensus," said Tsai.
"If Chiang has the determination and courage to sign a CECA with China, then he should have the courage to participate in a public debate on the issue," Tsai said.
After being notified of the protest, an SEF official came out of the building to accept a written petition from the ART members.