Alexa

Presidential Office rebuts opposition party's call for ECFA referendum

Presidential Office rebuts opposition party's call for ECFA referendum

A spokesman for the Office of the President called the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) hypocritical yesterday for pushing for a referendum to quash the government's proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China.
Lo Chih-chiang noted that the DPP did not bother to put any of the five free trade agreements the country concluded with other states to a referendum during the eight years it was in power.
"Why should it now ask for a referendum on ECFA, which is the same kind of thing?" Lo asked.
He made the statement in response to remarks by DPP Secretary- General Su Jia-chyuan, who claimed the previous day that the Kuomintang administration should step down if it refuses to hold a referendum on the trade pact that the DPP believes would undermine Taiwan's sovereignty.
"There are more than 200 free trade pacts or similar agreements around the world, the majority of which were not put to referendum. Should all the administrations that signed these pacts be defined as undemocratic and step down?" Lo asked.
Naming the United States, Japan and South Korea as a few nations that have entered such pacts without seeking approval through referendum, Lo asked rhetorically: "Should they be characterized as non-democratic?"
It is highly unlikely that the DPP would be unaware of the importance of the trade pact with China, and as a responsible opposition, the DPP should tell the public how Taiwan can avoid being isolated as regional trade blocs continue to sprout up around the world, Lo said.
He urged the DPP not to try to keep the country isolated from the rest of the world, as this would only harm Taiwan's economy.