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Service trade pact makes no progress on day 2 of legislative review

Service trade pact makes no progress on day 2 of legislative review

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) Lawmakers continued to argue Thursday over procedural issues, on their second day of reviewing a service trade agreement between Taiwan and China. Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai, who was chairing the session as this week's convener of the Internal Administration Committee, called an adjournment at 2:41 p.m., seven minutes into the afternoon session. The only matter handled was the passage of the minutes of the morning session. The seven-minute afternoon session was characterized by pushing and shoving among Kuomintang (KMT) and opposition lawmakers, as they argued about Chen's handling of the morning session. The morning session, in similar fashion, passed the minutes of the previous day's session and was adjourned after two minutes, amid objections by KMT lawmakers. On Wednesday there was no progress either on the processing of the agreement, since KMT lawmakers filibustered throughout the day after accusing Chen of allowing DPP lawmakers to sign up first so they could speak early in the session. With the disputes continuing, government officials have not been able to report to the Legislature on the trade-in-services agreement, which was signed between Taiwan and China last June. Under the pact, China has agreed to open up its e-commerce, printing, hospitals, construction, transportation, tourism, entertainment, funeral services and securities businesses to Taiwanese operators. Taiwan, meanwhile, has agreed to allow Chinese investors to run printing, car rental, cargo transportation, gondolas, beauty parlors and salons, gaming and funeral services operations. The opening of those sectors to Chinese capital has raised concerns in Taiwan, and the Legislature has held a series of 16 hearings on the agreement since last September to address the doubts and build consensus on the issue. KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih said Wednesday the review process will continue next week when KMT Legislator Chang Ching-chung will take over as convener of the Internal Administration Committee. The Legislature is scheduled to hold a routine plenary session Friday, according to its website. (By Wang Ching-yi, Tai Ya-chen, Chen Wei-ting and Kay Liu)


Updated : 2021-03-06 19:07 GMT+08:00